Resolution of intent to raise water rates OK’d

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

On a 4-0 vote of the city council, a resolution was adopted for the intention of the City of Conrad to increase water rates Monday evening .

Before that can happen though, there will be two public hearings on the subject. The first hearing will be on Nov. 29, 7 p.m. at the Conrad Public Library located at 15-4th Ave. SW.

Then on Dec. 5 at 8 p.m., there will be a second hearing at city hall, 411-1/2 S. Main Street. After that hearing the council will make a final decision for rates and changes in the water system.

There has not been an increase in water rates since 2007.

A detailed explanation of the rate increase based on the EDU methodology (Equivalent Dwelling Unit) will be used for determining the water rate increase.

A mailing and explanation of the water rates is expected to be mailed out from the city on Thursday.

A 3/4-inch service line is the standard service line for a single family house and the proposed monthly charge is $38.04. A one-inch line will have a monthly charge of $53.26, a 1-1/2-inch line will go to $148.74, a two-inch line goes to $228.24, three-inches is $356.05 and a four-inch line goes up to $712.49.

In other business the council, on a 4-0 vote, moved to allow Mayor Wendy Judisch to negotiate with the people next door (413 S. Main) to make an offer on the building.

A preliminary budget of $315,000 for the remodeling project to combine that work place with city hall was submitted by Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson (KLJ), an engineering firm out of Helena.

The firm says in its feasibility study, “It is the (our) conclusion that it’s a great opportunity to expand city hall.”

The regular meeting was closed at 8 p.m. for a public hearing for a conditional use permit for a home business. With no comments from the public, the hearing was closed and the council went back to the regular meeting for discussion and action.

Chelsey (Willie) Stubbs want to have a massage unit at their house, 512 S. Michigan to be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.

The council on a recommendation from the zoning board voted 4-0 to allow the permit, which prompted the mayor to say to Stubbs, “Welcome to the business community, best of luck.”

The council also passed resolution R-1063 which adopts building inspection fees for residential, commercial and mechanical permits. The new fee structure becomes effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Aldermen granted permission to the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce to have a bon fire on Nov. 28 in the Conrad Lions Swimming Pool parking lot to kick off activities for the annual Christmas Stroll.

The CVFD will start the bon fire, monitor it, put it out and clean up the area. Chief Kevin Moritz noted, “The parking lot is a good place, there’s nothing around to burn.”

A report was given to the council on negotiations for a new lease at Blue Sky Villa (BSV). Managed by Horizon Lodge, the city receives $41,000 in rent from BSV and pays $14,600 of that to the county.

In all the time that the city has had the property (about 20 years) the lease was raised only once and that was three years ago.

BSV turned down the negotiation offer on a 10-year lease and $2,000 increase. The lease committee will continue to pursue the matter with a committee from BSV.

The next regular council meeting will be Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m. in city hall at 411-1/2 S. Main Street.