Tetra Tech delivered its $25,000 Sewer System Capacity Study at the March 24th Board Meeting. 

The conclusion was no surprise. Northfield Township's existing Sewer System committments exceed the Wastewater Treatment Plant's capacity.   We couldn't honor the existing obligations if we wanted to.  As the Township Manager said, "If you add up the REUs that are committed, you're not just over, you're way over."

The Territorial Road Special Assessment District (SAD) is the largest single committment, at around 1500 REUs, (Residential Equivalent Units).  For this unfunded committment, you can thank the 2000-2004 Board of Trustees.

Our Township Manager says we don't have to consider these committments as obligations.  We can hide the unfunded liabilities behind the morality distortion field of government "policy."  There is "no right or wrong answer." 

Supervisor Marilyn Engstrom cheered him on, saying we can "rob it from one area to give it to another area."

Prompted by Manager Fink, Tetra Tech's Brian Rubel said that almost all communities he works with handle things this way.  They kick the can down the road.  He didn't mention the constant ramp up in taxes paid by these communities.  That shiny new infrastructure eventually requires rebuilding and replacement.  The Special Assessments never end.

In any case, according to Tetra-Tech, the Treatment plant needs to build a $2.5 Million to $3 Million flow buffering tank now, just to handle today's peak flows during heavy rains.

The high point of the March 24th meeting was Trustee Braun's recognition of the moral hazard.

 Northfield Township WWTP Capacity Evaluation Report.  March 18, 2015


Download Tetratech's report as a pdf.


 Previous Reports and Studies of Northfield's Sewer System

 Download this as a pdf.

Most of the sewer discussion has been transcribed in our Meeting Notes.

Or you can watch the Sewage flow on livestream.   The Tetra Tech presentation begins at about 1 hr 6 minutes in.  The discussion of municipal morality initiated by Trustee Braun begins at about 1 hr 34 minutes in.

Further reading:

Unsustainable Mechanisms of Growth - The Strong Towns Blog

The Sylvan Lake Township Sewer Fiscal Fiasco (a Five-Fold property tax increase to pay for Sewers nobody wanted.)

The Jefferson County Sewer Crisis  (A Big City Version of the Sylvan Lake Fiasco)

The Idiot's Guide to Ponzi-Planning - Favorite reading of our Township Solons.

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