Residents of the Alpine Village subdivision will pay an additional sewer surcharge to cover the cost of system repairs, the Greenup city council decided Monday.

Also on Monday, the council declined to raise garbage rates in the city, even though it currently pays more to its garbage contractor than it bills customers.

The council made the decisions in a special meeting.

The council added an additional $7.50 onto the $10 surcharge Alpine Village residents pay for sewage service. The additional surcharge is to last three years. The additional money will offset the cost of repairs to the subdivision’s sewer treatment plant.

Faltering blowers at the plant require replacement, and the cost of the work comes to about $17,800, mayor Lundie Meadows said. The blowers oxygenate the sewage, a necessary step in the treatment process.

The plant currently is using a backup motor to operate the blowers but operators aren’t confident it will hold out, Meadows said.

New parts are expected in two to three weeks. Warm weather could exacerbate the problem. If the plant isn’t working correctly the city could end up out of compliance with state Division of Water regulations, and that could result in fines, among other penalties, Meadows said.

The council probably will decide at its next regular meeting, April 12, when to start charging the addition money. Meadows did not rule out calling another special meeting for the purpose. It probably will show up on the next bill, Meadows said.

The council declined to raise garbage rates in the city, even though it is losing money on garbage collection.

The city pays a contractor $9.10 per household for residential collection and $5.25 for senior citizens. However, it bills $8.50 for residential and $4.75 for senior collections.

That comes out to $206 per month in red ink for the city, according to utility clerk Becky Miller.

The council agreed to leave the rates at current levels until the contract expires in about a year.

Meadows said the decision doesn’t make business sense. “From a business standpoint, you don’t want to lose money. You want to at least break even,” he said.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

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