Richmond Utility District customers will have a chance to weigh in on a proposed 6 percent increase to sewer rates Wednesday at a public hearing that’s scheduled for 6 p.m.

Chuck Applebee, the district’s interim superintendent, said the utilities board will consider comments and is scheduled to vote on the increase at its Sept. 13 meeting. If approved, they would take effect Oct. 1.

This rate increase, which would be applied to residential, commercial and government users alike, would increase the current quarterly minimum rate from $84.28 for a maximum of 8,500 gallons used per quarter to $89.34. The district also assesses a usage rate for use greater than 8,500 gallons a quarter, and that is also proposed to increase from $8.42 per 1,000 gallons to $8.93 per 1,000 gallons.

“The rate increase is for wastewater only,” Applebee said Tuesday. “The water rates will remain the same.”

In all, the Richmond Utility District serves 549 sewer customers and 536 water customers.

Scott McIntire is one of those customers. The owner of the Old Goat bar and restaurant said he’s not worried about the proposed increase.

“It’s a professionally managed utility,” he said. “They got to do what they got to do. No one wants to pay higher prices, but it’s not like I can go somewhere else (for the service).”

The proposed rate increase, the first since 2013, is intended to address the rising cost of maintaining and operating the current plant and to start to finance the cost of upgrading the wastewater treatment system.

District officials announced plans to upgrade the system earlier this year.

After Wednesday’s public hearing, representatives from Olver Associates are expected to present options for upgrading the plant and the costs attached to each option.

As part of the upgrade, the district has been collecting demographic and salary data via a survey. Applebee said nearly 100 surveys have been returned, but that’s only about a quarter of the return rate needed.

“We need to have 421 surveys completed, so we’ll have to go house to house to visit folks,” he said.

The survey information will be kept private. The data collected will be considered when putting together the financing package.

The public hearing will be held at the Richmond Town Office at 26 Gardiner St. before the Board of Selectmen meets at 6:30 p.m.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ