Council lifts moratorium on building
The moratorium on building permits is no longer in effect.
The Baldwin City Council approved in a 5-0 vote Tuesday night to repeal the moratorium on subdivision applications.
The moratorium was put in place by the city around September 2000 until construction on a new wastewater treatment plant began, which still allowed for a little more than 200 additional houses to be built during that time frame.
The moratorium was repealed Tuesday when the contract for construction of the new wastewater treatment plant was awarded to Carrother's Construction in a 5-0 vote at the city council meeting. Carrother's will proceed with the building of the new plant Tuesday after a pre-construction conference Monday.
Council Member Marilyn Pearse said she thought it was an appropriate time for the moratorium to be repealed.
"I think we've been kicking this around for awhile," Pearse said. "I don't think we had nearly the building permits we anticipated."
Utility Director Terry McKinney said he thought the city wouldn't face any problems with additional building before the wastewater treatment plant was completed by the first part of 2003.
"Last year we didn't get as many permits as we anticipated. The growth didn't go like we thought it would," McKinney said. "This year, we'll get just a little over 100 permits. So there's still room for 100 homes before we get in trouble."
In other business, the city council:
Approved in a 5-0 vote a water rate increase of 7.8 percent. The current base rate will be increased from $5.30 to $6 and the cost per 100 cubic feet of water will increase from $4.17 to $4.47.
McKinney said Lawrence increased the cost for treatment of water to Baldwin twice in the last two years by 19 cents. If Baldwin did not increase its rates, the city's budget would be affected.
"There would be a $50,000 shortfall in the budget without a rate increase in Baldwin," he said.
The last rate increase to Baldwin residents was in April 2000.
"We're adjusting ourselves for two years worth and not just one," Mayor Ken Hayes said.
Approved in a 5-0 vote electric utility infrastructure improvements at a cost of $2 million.
"This completes 95 percent of all infrastructure needs to be done in town for three years," McKinney said.
Included in the improvements are plans for a secondary electrical feed from Ottawa, which the council will discuss at the Feb. 4 meeting.
"This would eliminate, or severely reduce, the number of outages we have," Hayes said.
Met in executive session for 45 minutes to discuss personnel.