|Mayor: Troy may have to increase rates |
|By: Donna Ryder, Associate Editor |
|Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 9:04 pm |
By DONNA RYDER
The Town of Troy may soon have to increase its water and sewer rates.
Mayor Jimmie Hart told the board Monday night that the water fund is nearly $40,000 in the red and the sewer fund lost $16,500 last fiscal year.
He asked the aldermen if they wanted him to contact the Municipal Technical Advisory Service about conducting a rate study or if they wanted him and city recorder Cheryl Cranford to figure it out. He said MTAS has performed the rate studies in the past at no charge, but he understands the town may be billed for the service this year.
Alderman Deanna Chappell said she spoke with public works director Lynn Jones and he suggested the town could increase its water tap fee from $200 to $500 inside the city and $650 outside the city. She said he also said other cities charge a connection fee when water is turned on, instead of a deposit, which is what Troy charges.
Mrs. Chappell said Jones told her in some cases people request the service but move before they can be put in the system.
Hart said those two issues would be included in any rate study.
The mayor said any increase in the water rate would automatically increase the sewer rate, since they are connected.
He added he recently learned the natural gas will cost less under the new contract and suggested that rate can be reduced to help even out utility fees being paid by the town’s residents.
Alderman Hoyt Sampson said he believes the rate study would be the thing to do. Mrs. Chappell added having MTAS perform the study would probably satisfy the comptroller’s office better.
When asked, Hart said the main loss came in the amount of depreciation the town must take into account in those departments. He said there has also been an increase in expenditures for phone service, maintenance and plant repair.
Hart added the town also never knows when something will have to be repaired or how much that item will cost. “We budget a certain amount for repair and we never know what we will have. The budget is more or less guess work. We miss it sometimes. That’s why we have budget amendments.”
In other business Monday night, the board:
• Heard from Mike Cox, president of Community Concert Association of Union City/Obion County, about the upcoming concert series. He asked for the board’s assistance in finding a liaison in Troy to help sign up new members. He explained residents can purchase a family membership for the small fee of $95 and will receive tickets to the five concerts in Union City. They will also be allowed to attend the four concerts planned by the Dyersburg association.
Cox said the association takes in about $40,000 a year, which is used to pay for the entertainers. The more memberships the association has, the better the entertainment can be. He added the Union City Civic Auditorium seats almost 1,000 people and there are usually around 500 memberships sold.
• Learned the city had someone grind the stumps at City Park for $75.
• Renewed CDs.
• Approved the budget amendments on second reading.
• Learned Police Chief James Cleek has broken his hip and had to have hip replacement surgery.
• Heard from Fire Chief Mark Watson that renovations are under way in the basement of the fire station and a weight room is now available for firefighters there. He said they have painted and, hopefully, have sealed the walls where water had been seeping in. He asked that City Hall find another location to store its records, which are currently in the basement. He said he needs the storage space for items which the department doesn’t use, but doesn’t want to dispose of just yet.
• Was told by Phillip Green he believes the deadline for rural fire contracts has been extended to Aug. 31 because of some billing issues at the beginning of the process. He said he understood the participation rate is about 40 percent right now. Watson said he was told there were about 300 subscribers in the Troy area.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 8.3.11