Goessel council adopts higher rates for water, sewer customers

The Goessel City Council adopted new water and sewer rates at its Sept. 18 meeting.

The council had been informed the city’s rates are too low. Raising the rates would enable the city to qualify for state funding a proposed sewer project.

According to Ordinance 274, a minimum charge of $11.66 per month will be assessed for each 3/4-inch water meter, up to 1,000 gallons of water use, then $4.21 for each additional 1,000 gallons up to 5,000 gallons. The charge for each 1,000 gallons of water above that amount will be $4.54.

The ordinance also states a minimum charge of $30.49 will be assessed for each 1-inch water meter, up to 5,000 gallons of water use, then $4.21 for each 1,000 additional gallons up to 7,500 gallons, and $4.54 for each 1,000 gallons after that.

A charge of $47.99 will be assessed per month for each 11⁄2-inch water meter and each 2-inch meter, up to 7,500 gallons of water, then $4.21 for each additional 1,000 gallons up to 15,000 gallons, and $4.54 for each 1,000 gallons after that.

Four-inch meters will be billed at a minimum of $75.40 per month up to 20,000 gallons of water, then $4.21 for each additional 1,000 gallons up to 40,000 gallons and $4.54 for each 1,000 gallons after that.

The ordinance also states: “Monthly charges for water use by users who are not residents of the city of Goessel shall be based upon the size of water meter installed and amount of water used, and shall be charged a sum equal to twice the charge assessed to a resident of the city of Goessel.”

A surcharge for servicing, maintenance,and improvements to the water system will be included on the bills.

The council also approved a formula for assessing wastewater charges, with a minimum monthly charge of $16. In addition, 25 cents per 100 gallons of wastewater will be charged for operation, maintenance and replacement. A $2 fee for sewer maintenance examination also will be assessed.

The fees will need to be increased again, but the details of that increase have not yet been determined.

The ordinance also states that any user who discharges toxic pollutants or other substances that cause an increase in the cost of managing the effluent or the sludge will pay for the increased costs.

Continuing the discussion of the water/sewer project, Larry Kleeman of Ranson City Code Financial was at the meeting to discuss refinancing the city’s current debt that includes two loans and a bond issue.

The council passed Resolution 17-10, which authorizes the city to issue refunding bonds to cover the Water Supply Loan that the city is currently paying.

The council also passed Resolution 17-11, authorizing the city to issue refunding bonds to cover the current Water Pollution Control Loan.

The council passed Resolution 17-12, which offers the sale of general obligation refunding and improvement bonds.

In addition, the council passed Resolution 17-13, which adopts the tax and securities compliance procedures.

City Attorney Josh Boehm said he had seen all the paperwork for the sewer project. He commended City Clerk Jennifer Whitehead for her work on the project.

“Jennifer is doing a good job,” Boehm said.

Other business

In other business, the council:

• discussed the connection to rural water. Mayor Dave Schrag described it as an “insurance policy” that gives the city the option of using rural water if the city’s water supply is inaccessible.

Schrag said the rural water connection has been used about three times since it was installed about 25 years ago.

Public Works Director Karen Dalke said it has never been rebuilt and was getting only 12 pounds of pressure, which is not enough. She worked with Galen Penner to flush out the line and make equipment repairs.

• discussed the possibility of accepting credit card payments, pending the advice of Boehm.

• heard from Dalke that she had installed some new culverts.

• heard that Dalke had a section of sewer line replaced between Buller and State Streets. Video testing had shown that a large amount of water was entering the sewer line at this place.

• discussed a valve that is not working in a manhole near the grain bins.

• heard from Whitehead that Greg Nickel, municipal judge, updated the city’s court bond schedule and the fines for speeding to more closely match the state.

• noted that Whitehead will graduate from Munici­pal Clerk School in Novem­ber. At that time, she will become a certified municipal clerk.

• briefly talked about North State Street. There had been a question about rock for that street. Mayor Dave Schrag reminded the council, “We turned it over to the county.”

He said the county will be responsible for grading that section of the street now.

• also discussed the east end of Main Street.

• authorized the purchase of new tires, alignment and shocks for the city’s 2005 Ford pick-up.

• heard that cars and buses in the city had been vandalized with paint a few weeks ago. Other vandalism had occurred throughout the county at the same time.

• decided to purchase a generator for the city building.

• heard that the garbage disposal in the city building kitchen had been replaced. Goering Hardware did the work.

• discussed semi trucks that have been parked on city streets. It was noted that the weight of the trucks is hard on water lines and street surfaces. Also, some streets are not wide enough for traffic to get around a big truck.

• heard from Dalke that someone had pulled the gate off the hinges at the city’s burnsite.