City moves to increase sewer rates

At the Tuesday meeting of the city council, Mayor Wendy Judisch presented a resolution of intent to increase sewer rates and establish new system development fees. The rates proposed are $27. per month for the base with $2.75 per 1,000 gallons after the first 1,000 gallons.

This comes to a $1.42 per month increase on the base and 50-cents per 1,000 gallon increase on the overage.

This rate is a .42-cent increase over what was the original rate proposed at the last meeting.

The mayor explained the reason for the intended rates is based on the bond requirements for coverage. The last sewer increase was in 2009.

While the resolution of intent could be passed, the rates cannot go up until after public comment at public hearings on Oct. 1 and 15 during regular city council meetings.

A motion by council Drew Lesnik and a second was made by Councilwoman Karla Breding to approve R-14. The council passed the resolution on a 4-0 vote.

The I-15 self-storage and Patrick Heinen electrical discussion from the last meeting was brought up.

He has received only verbal information for NorthWestern Energy, noting the city has to put in an application to install a junction box. Then his application would allow lines from the J-box to their buildings at the Industrial Park.

The city attorney has to deal with case law to form an opinion. Mayor Judisch is recommending further research to be made as the city shouldn’t expend unnecessary costs until NorthWestern Energy can determine what is needed.

Both Heinen and the city are frustrated because business cannot move forward without electricity.

In reports, PWD Rich Anderson informed the council that his crew has milled up the block of 4th Ave. SE as well as four blocks of paved alleys.

Sand is being screened for the winter ahead and new employees are receiving training. The Tri-City Interlocal met and member cities will be going out for bids on garbage trucks.

Chief Gary Dent gave a two-month report for July and August.

There were 202 calls in July for service. Among them were 14 calls for suspicious activity, six domestics, four alarms, eight rides homes and nine traffic violations. There were 41 animal control calls, some related to the 4th of July.

In August, there were 181 calls. Seventeen were for suspicious activity, seven for domestic problems, seven alarms and 27 various public assists.

Brad Hoffman of Gmaps USA was in and about Conrad on Aug. 28-29 for the on-sight portion of the feasibility study of the Industrial Park.

He also traveled to Valier and Shelby with his focus being on the I-15 corridor rather than the city itself. He noted that new businesses shouldn’t take away from the city.

Hoffman also recommended that the city add the car-truck wash and food service analysis to the study.

Each will add an additional $950 to the original base cost. Alderman Breding made the motion to expand the study and got a second from Rick Moss. Council approved the additional cost on a 4-0 vote.

John Shevlin was on hand to request the use of city chairs for the NRA banquet to be held Oct. 12 at the Pondera Shooting Sports Club. The request was approved.

A request from Kurt and Joelle Peters to annex and zone commercial property they acquired, outside the city limits, but right next their property that is currently within the city be annexed into the city.

There were no public comments against the request. It was approved by council on a 4-0 vote.

The next regular meeting of the city council will be 6 p.m. on Sept. 17 in city hall.

The public is invited always welcome to the city meetings and view their government at work.