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GLENWOOD CITY — In order to pay for the $2.3 million dollar upgrade to the City’s Waste Water Treatment facility, the City council approved a 40 percent increase in the rate for local customers.
Sean Lentz, of Ehlers, the company that does the auditing for the city appeared before the Council at their monthly meeting on Monday, December 9 to explain the cost figures and why an increase is needed.
Lentz referred to the 2018 audit report, which stated that the sewer utility had operating revenues of $139,811, but the expenses were $180,271. Lentz explained that the city received $1.5 million in grants and principal forgiveness that is expected. Included in the utility financing was money from the Clean Water Fund Loan, which requires the utility to operate in the black and build a reserve fund.
The city would need sufficient revenue to cover operating expenses, debt service and an annual replacement reserve deposit. That reserve deposit was stated in the report to be $13,675 annually, and the debt service will cost the utility some $43,555 a year for the next twenty years. Lentz stated; “raising the rate by 40 percent would give the utility adequate revenue to cover the expenses of the utility.”
Lentz also had an impact analysis for customers reflecting what the charges would be. His statement noted the present cost for on a quarterly bill for the sewer utility bill is $56.84 for a residential user based on 12,000 gallons of water used. The new rate will increase that bill to $79.58.
Kevin Oium of Cedar corporation had presented the council with a chart of many area communities with what their charges are for sewer use. Mayor John Larson looked over that chart and noted; “Compared to our neighbors, we are still near the bottom of costs.”
The new rate will go into effect on January 1, 2020 and will appear on the billing at the end of March.
In other council action, they approved a pay request from August Winter and Sons of $250,734.00 for Waste Water Treatment Plant project, with Oium reporting that there is still some minor work to be done yet this year with some small minor work which will be done in the spring. The city has been withholding five percent from the contractor pending final satisfactory inspection in the spring.
Heard from Public Works Director Dave Caress about snow plowing and the snowplow had been taken to the county for repairs and spoke about the repairs to the 1999 dump truck. Mayor Larson also spoke about the need to replace that truck. Caress also informed the council that well number three, will be back on line next week. It has been down for some time for repairs.
The council approved allowing Police Chief Robert Darwin to attend the Police Chief’s Conference at Wisconsin Dells on February 9 through 12. But tabled a request to allow officer Adam Malean’s two-week attendance at DOJ First Line Supervisor Program training. Mayor Larson noted; “wait a year and put the cost in the budget.
The council renewed the building inspectors contract for 2020 with Weber Inspections.
They also approved the following as Election Inspectors for the next two years. Barb Dillow and Jill Logghe as Chief Inspectors and the following Inspectors; Marge Hansen, Linda Krizan, Charlotte Larson, Karen Marlette, Karen Peterson, Ken Peterson, Linda Sittlow, Faye Steffen and Bill Wold.
Council member Ken Peterson delivered Library Director, Katie Schneider monthly report.
Her report stated that 40 ladies turned out for the painting night at Wood City Tavern and 170 people visited with Santa last week. This week the library will host a Christmas gift-wrapping event. She reported that 125 people attended the gnomes class. The library will hold an event for Hangtime kids on December 19th and they will be decorating Christmas cookies. And parents and kids will be making their own gingerbread houses on December 23rd.
Kaitlin Lee, a senior at the high school, will be at the library talking about her first book on Saturday, January 4th. The first four people attending will receive a free copy of the book.