Thursday, January 29, 2015
By Carol Walker
Encouragement was given at the Hill City Council meeting on Monday night, for community members to attend planning and zoning meetings to have input into the comprehensive plan for Hill City, which will be an ongoing project in the months to come. Brett McMacken, city administrator, said they will be talking about things such as economics, population growth, zoning, transportation, road systems, geography of where we live and much more. Meetings are held the first and third Monday of the month at city hall.
The council took a second look at an issue brought to the table at the Jan. 12 meeting, adopting a fee schedule for water and sewer rates that would cover an annual debt service payment totaling about $8,000. McMacken summarized for council members and the public the conversations he had with representatives from the State Revolving Fund (SRF) office.
“I was contacted by the state regarding the water-looping project we did that went from Bishop Mt. to Hall’s Trailer Court and then over to Hwy. 16/385. That was a good project for us, and we were able to get a loan through the State Revolving Fund. A couple hundred thousand of that debt was forgiven,” McMacken said. “However, the SRF office informed us that we should have a fee schedule that would cover the remaining debt payment each year. They suggested $1.40 per account per month.”
McMacken went on to say that the city has kept up with the payments, but SRF wants to see a fee schedule that shows where the money is coming from. He said he is not comfortable with raising water and sewer rates again, but he would like to see the fee schedule be a part of the $1.75/1,000 gallons of usage that is currently being set aside for the water and sewer improvement fund. SRF officials and city council members agreed that would be acceptable.
It was decided that $1.50 per account for approximately 420 accounts would come out of that water and sewer improvement fund each month and it would be moved to the SRF account on a monthly basis. There would not be an increase in fees for residents, but rather an adjustment to the accounting. This would meet the state’s requirements for a fee schedule.