Bayfield town trustees have unanimously voted to raise monthly water and sewer rates, each by 10 percent. Water rates will go up beginning in January, and sewer rates will go up beginning in May.
At the trustees’ meeting earlier this week, two residents complained a leak in a town water pipe wasted a lot of water this summer in the Clover Meadows subdivision.
Wendy Crane, who lives on Daylily Drive, said water was flowing on neighborhood streets this summer. When she called Bayfield Town Hall to complain, she was told it was probably irrigation water. She tried all summer to find where the water was leaking from. Finally this autumn, after irrigation water was turned off, town staff determined it was a leaking town line.
“It was an honest mistake,” said Chris La May, Bayfield town manager. There are several spots in Bayfield where leaking irrigation water causes springs to form in town, he said.
Lisa Carnahan of Meadows Circle said it was frustrating for homeowners to be told the leak was caused by irrigation water. They even tested the water for chlorine to prove it came out of the town system.
Mayor Matt Salka said it’s hard for town staff to track down leaks, but he added that he understands the residents’ frustration and vowed the town would try to do better as new public works staffers start working on the town’s water system.
La May said the town needs to raise the rates to prevent these problems from happening or becoming worse.
An additional 10 percent sanitary sewer rate increase is scheduled for May 2021.