Town council | Street work update

Walnut Street has been resurfaced and the new sidewalk is in. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

 

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

The Waterville Town Council at its July 1 meeting modified the town’s water rates so that increases that took effect this year will not be as drastic as had been the case for some heavy irrigators under a rate structure that went into effect this summer.

At a June 24 work session, Clerk/Treasurer Marsha Peterson presented possible alternative scenarios for increasing water rates while avoiding the three-fold increases that would have come down on some heavy users. After discussion at the meeting, three options were decided upon to bring before the town council.

Under all three options the water use tiers would return to how they had been set previous to the changes. The first option would involve a 20 percent increase in the base rate and a 20 percent increase in each tier rate. The second option would involve a 30 percent increase in the base rate and a 30 percent increase in each tier rate. The last option would involve no increase in the base rates and a 20 percent increase in the tier rates. For all of these the percent increases would be based on the rates that had taken effect in 2017.

The council voted to approve the first option of a 20 percent increase in the base rate and a 20 percent increase in the tier rates. The vote was 4-1, with Michael Davies voting against the change.

The council also went over rates for the school and cemetery irrigation accounts and adjusted these tiers to allow for a much higher water use at each tier. The rates for the school and cemetery irrigation accounts, given no change in usage over 2018, will increase over the 2017 rates by at most 17 percent. This change was designed to take into account that the water being used is non-potable.

The council chose to have the new rates start retroactively on June 20, which is the beginning of the current billing period.

In other matters, the council approved a resolution supporting the ballot measure that will increase the sales and use tax by 0.2 percent to expand Link Transit services.

The Walnut Street Reconstruction Project is moving forward as planned. The council approved a change order that did not involve any change in cost. They also approved the first pay estimate in the amount of $216,159 for Selland Construction. This project is being funded by the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB).

They also approved the first pay estimate in the amount of $40,263 to Selland Construction for the Walnut Street Water Meter Replacement Project, which is being funded by the town.

The council agreed that the town’s current building moratorium should be extended for another six months due to limitations in sewer capacity. Town attorney Steve Smith will prepare an ordinance to this effect for vote at the next council meeting.

The council voted to dismantle and dispose of skate park equipment in the Royal DeVaney Park basketball area. The equipment was damaged extensively by vandalism and is no longer safe.

The first swim lesson session ran the week of July 8. The second session will run July 15-19. Parents can sign their children up for the session at town hall.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 15.