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Midvale Journal

Changes to Midvale City utility fees could be in the works

Feb 08, 2021 11:07AM ● By Erin Dixon

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

The cost of the upkeep of water and sewer is rising, just like everything else. Midvale City may need to compensate for the rising costs. What changes will be made? That is unknown.

In a city council meeting in December 2020, Glen Kennedy, Public Works director for Midvale said that the city does its own analysis each year to keep up with maintenance costs, then brings suggested fees to council for approval. 

This time, however, he’s getting an outside opinion. “Historically, the city has reviewed rates internally as part of the annual budget process. But, there is a current need to perform a more extensive review and study,” Kennedy said. 

Outside of the meeting, Councilmember Dustin Gettel suggested that, “...[N]ormally when you determine the need for a fee study, there are...already issues that have been identified.”

“Typically, cities don't spend money to study issues that haven't already been deemed at least potentially problematic. For instance, if your city was well known for being the safest, most walkable city in the county, you probably wouldn't spend 10 grand for a third-party pedestrian safety study,” Gettel said. 

To keep with the sewer and water needs, the city has two new master plans: one for water and one for sewer. 

“The water master plan identified roughly $25 million in projects that are required to remedy system deficiencies and to accommodate growth. Identified annual ongoing need for about $2 million in system replacement projects. We’ve got an old system and it’s time to start replacing it,” Kennedy said.

“The sewer utility is going to take on a new and relatively uncommon vacuum system as part of the Jordan Bluffs development. And we’ll also need to fund replacement projects and increasing treatment costs at the Jordan Valley Water Treatment Plant.”

To select an engineering firm to perform the utility study the city requested quotes from local businesses. Midvale staff selected Lewis, Young, Robertson & Burningham based on cost and expected service level, and will pay $15,550 for the study. Other responses were from JWO Engineering for $97,000 and BerryDunn for $24,895.