By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Wrapped, sealed and delivered, just in time for Christmas, the city council moved to raise the water rates Monday evening.
Despite a number of people being on hand to protest the raise in the water rates, plus written comments, aldermen passed a rate increase of a 4-0 vote.
Former mayor John Shevlin informed a group of dissenters, “You shouldn’t be upset with the people at the table (council) but more so with the EPA and DEQ who charge and implement excessive charges for testing.”
Mayor Wendy Judisch commented, “Water rates can only be used for water, not to fix streets or anything else.”
There has been no increase in water rates since 2007. The new rates will go into effect with the January billing.
The rate increase is based on the EDU methodology (Equivalent Dwelling Unit).
A 3/4-inch service line is the standard service line for a single family house and goes to $38.04, a one-inch line will have a monthly charge of $53.26, and a 1 1/2-inch line goes to $148.74, a two-inch line goes to $228.24, three-inches is $350.05 and a four-inch line goes up to $712.49.
In other business, a conditional use permit was granted to Alicia Woods for a business at 323 4th Ave. SW. She plans to open up a fitness facility.
Woods told the council she wants to removed the ramp at the business and bring a Yoga instructor from Great Falls.
Reports were presented and accepted from Carolyn Donath of the library, PWD Rich Anderson, Chief Gary Dent and Cheryl Curry from the Port Authority.
Council members approved a pre-disaster mitigation plan, the same one the county approved last week. The plan has been in the works for over a year.
An Arbor Day proclamation was passed and council members OK’d Mayor Judisch’s request to be out of the state for 10-11 days. The exact dates will be given later.
There was some discussion on the remodeling project for city hall. Instead of studying the project for another two weeks, aldermen decided to move at the speed of business instead of government and voted to go ahead with the remodel project.
A preliminary budget of $315,000, from Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson (KLJ) an engineering firm out of Helena, was submitted earlier to the council.
The council Approved on a 4-0 vote, Morrison & Maierle’s task order for sludge removal at the lagoon ponds. The task order is for $43,170.
The next regular council meeting will take place on Dec. 19, 7:30 p.m. at city hall, 411-1/2 S. Main Street.
The public is always welcome and encouraged to attend and see their government at work.