WLSSD Board Approves 2020 Budgets

WLSSD Board Approves 2020 Budgets

DULUTH, MN: Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) Board of Directors approved its 2020 operating and capital budgets at its Board meeting last night. The Sanitary Board approved a 0% increase in solid waste management fees and a 1.68% average increase in wastewater rates. The budget for the regional wastewater system includes significant capital investments to ensure reliability of the wastewater system.


“Our knowledgeable and committed staff has worked hard to ensure the effectiveness and ongoing improvement of our wastewater system,” said WLSSD executive director Marianne Bohren. “All this has been done while keeping rate increases to a minimum over the past decade.”


In addition to the 2020 capital projects, WLSSD will continue to pursue Minnesota State bonding assistance for half the cost of a $13.5 million renewable energy project. WLSSD plans to install generators that will use methane-rich gas produced during wastewater treatment. The generators will produce electricity and heat for the use in the wastewater treatment plant. WLSSD’s half of the funds were included in the District’s 2019 capital budget, approved in 2018.


“It takes an incredible amount of energy to clean our region’s wastewater and energy costs continue to rise. It is critical that we make full use of our resources to hold charges down,” continued Bohren. “Adding generators is an exciting opportunity to maximize the value WLSSD brings to our region.”


The WLSSD Board also approved a 0% increase in solid waste management fees collected to support solid waste programs and services like WLSSD’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility, Yard Waste Compost Site, Materials Recovery Center, and reuse, recycling and education programs. WLSSD’s Solid Waste Management fees have remained unchanged since 2015.


“Continued attention to quality, service and cost has allowed us to grow our solid waste facilities and services without increasing solid waste management fees. Our 2020 solid waste capital budget includes investments in improvements that will support our growing solid waste operations,” continued Bohren. “The continued use and popularity of our solid waste recycling and disposal programs illustrates is the community’s commitment to reducing waste, recovering value from ‘waste’ and properly managing materials that can be harmful.”


Western Lake Superior Sanitary District provides award-winning wastewater and solid waste services within a 530 square mile service area and is a nationally recognized leader in pollution prevention. Governed by a nine-member citizen board, WLSSD is a special purpose subdivision of the State of Minnesota. Its legislative service area includes the cities of Duluth, Cloquet, Carlton, Scanlon, Wrenshall, Hermantown, Proctor, Rice Lake and Thomson; and the rural townships of Silverbrook, Thomson, Twin Lakes, Canosia, Duluth, Grand Lake, Lakewood, Midway and Solway.