Residential city water bills will be $2 bigger
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 24, 2001
In anticipation of a new south water plant, along with uncertainty about Farmland Foods’ plans, the city council voted to raise the city water rates, effective Sept.
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
In anticipation of a new south water plant, along with uncertainty about Farmland Foods’ plans, the city council voted to raise the city water rates, effective Sept. 1.
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The increase will mean an additional $2 per month on the bills of residential customers and $4 per month for commercial customers.
The council approved the sale of $1.6 million in general obligation water revenue bonds to pay for the new south water treatment plant and well modifications. The rate increase will pay back the bonds.
&uot;We also will experience a loss in revenue with the closure of Farmland,&uot; City Manager Paul Sparks said. &uot;This was not a major source of revenue, but we will experience a loss because of the fire.&uot;
The council unanimously approved the measure after no one came forward during a public hearing to express any opinion about the increase.
City Manager Paul Sparks said the rate hike is the first since 1998.
In other council news:
The city maintained its A-1 bond rating from Moody’s Investor
Services of New York. Councilor Don McPherson said the rating
is the company’s highest and reflects well on city management.
&uot;Essentially it’s our credit rating, and we have a good
one. It’s important to maintain that because it saves the taxpayers
money,&uot; McPherson said.
At the request of Community Action Agency, the council approved
up to 3,000 free city pool passes for Farmland employees and
their families for the remainder of the season. The passes would
be dispersed through Community Action. Each free admission is
worth about $1.25, said Sparks.
The council gave the go-ahead for a new Kwik Trip store at
the corner of Front Street and First Avenue South. The planning
commission approved a conditional use permit for the new store
and expanded location two weeks ago. The redeveloped Kwik Trip
will offer nine two-sided pumps, compared to the current location’s
four. The store itself will have more space, an expanded fountain
wall, coffee bar and grill area.
Construction of the new store will begin in August, after the
existing store is demolished.
The Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) received
$20,900 Monday, after the council voted to release the remainder
of withheld lodging tax money.
Sparks said the CVB provided the city with a detailed plan for
the use of the money, plus a budget for the coming year.
&uot;I think they are in compliance with the guidelines set
forth by the city,&uot; Sparks said.
Almost $28,000 in excess lodging tax funds were with withheld
from the CVB last October because city officials were not satisfied
with monthly expense reports. The council released more than
$7,000 from the fund after the CVB was forced to take out a short-term
loan in April to meet its payroll obligations.
At the suggestion of councilor Ron Sorenson, the council also
approved a workshop with councilors and CVB representatives to
rework the agency’s contract with the city.