City also declines sewer credits for pool owners

COLCHESTER — The City Council has approved a 50-cents-a-month increase for residential garbage collection but will not provide sewer credits for residents with swimming pools.
The garbage fee rate increase will mean Colchester residents will pay an extra $6 a year for garbage removal, per the city’s new five-year contract with waste collector Jackson Disposal. The rate increase takes effect immediately, and residents will see the fee increase on their August bill.
The City Council also voted to not extend sewer credits to those homeowners who fill swimming pools in their yards. In the past residents have requested a sewer credit, or reimbursement, on their sewer bill because the pool water is not released into the city’s sewer.
However, the Council followed the recommendation of the city’s finance committee to decline this provision for swimming pool owners.
Mayor Danny Bice said it is not fair to homeowners who have been denied a sewer credit for power washing their house or watering their garden.
“To me, if you’re denying one, you deny all of them,” Bice said. “Because it’s not right when somebody’s trying to clean their house or produce food and you turn them down. That’s because a pool is a luxury item.”
City Clerk Donna Wetzel said that according to city records, most sewer credits in the past have amounted to less than $50 per month.
In other moves, the Council approved a $46,191.25 payment to Trotter Construction for completing sidewalk improvements along Market Street.
The Council also elected to spend no more than $3,500 for six new security cameras. Four of the cameras will be installed in City Hall and the other two will be placed at the city’s shelter house. Installation is scheduled this week.

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