Revenue stream reduced due to COVID-19

Water and sewer usage is down in village of Wittenberg
Miriam Nelson
News Editor

The village of Wittenberg is facing a significant loss in revenue from the water and sewer department due to the closure and limited operations of local businesses during the Safer at Home order, which had been in place since mid-March.

According to Village Clerk/Treasurer Traci Matsche, the total loss since the pandemic started is $23,508.79 and due mostly to the largest commercial and industrial businesses either being completely shut down or working at a much lower rate. Schools and several restaurants and bars were also closed.

Commercial customer usage went down by almost 1 million gallons of consumption, industrial down by 417,000 gallons, public authority such as schools, churches and municipal buildings went down by over 400,000 gallons, said Matsche.

After Gov. Tony Evers issued the Safer at Home order in March, the Public Service Commission ordered a statewide moratorium from disconnecting customers for non-payment and banning late payment fees for all utility companies. The PSC is lifting that ban July 25. Matsche said that even though the money not being paid by some of the residential users is not as significant as the money not being generated by businesses, it is still revenue that is currently not available for the village to use.

Letters are being sent out to all residents who still owe money on their water and sewer bills, encouraging them to stop into the office to arrange for a payment plan with Matsche. Anyone who signs up for a payment plan for their past due bills will have until Sept. 1 to pay their bill in full. If they don’t arrange for a payment plan before July 25, the village will be able to shut off service to customers.

Matsche noted that the village has always offered payment plans and many residents already take advantage of that service. Residents can either choose to pay in advance toward their water and sewer bill or sign an agreement for scheduled payments that need to be paid in full before the next quarterly billing is due.

The village office, located at 208 W. Vinal St., will be fully open July 1, Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to noon.


Revenues over last three quarters:

Fourth quarter 2019: $186,713.45

First quarter 2020: $183.687.46 — a loss of $3,025.99

Second quarter 2020: $163,204.66 — a loss of $20,482.80

Total loss: $23,508.79