City to see hike in sewer rates
Baldwin residents will soon see an increase in their sewer rates.
The Baldwin City Council approved in a 5-0 vote Monday night to increase sewer rates 15 percent -- an average increase of $2 a month -- to meet the debt service and operations costs of the new wastewater treatment plant. The approval sets the sewer rate at $3.05 per 100 cubic feet, up 45 cents from the $2.60 it had been.
There was no discussion before council's approval of the rate increase Monday, but at the Sept. 15 meeting, during the first reading of the sewer rate ordinance change, Utility Director Terry McKinney said an increase was needed because state officials and auditors said sewer revenues were not exceeding expenses.
McKinney told the council a higher growth rate and lower operating expenses had been expected, and Baldwin just wasn't meeting those projections.
He said the new plant is also using more energy than projected and there had also been increases in insurance.
Council Member Ken Wagner said at the Sept. 15 meeting the utility committee realized rate payers were already being asked to pay a lot, but the increase was necessary.
In other business, the city council:
- Approved in a 5-0 vote Fire Chief Allen Craig's recommendation for a burn ban for Oct. 17-19, the weekend of the Maple Leaf Festival.
- Approved in a 5-0 vote an ordinance to set the sewer rate average for new residents at 600 cubic feet.
- Approved in a 5-0 vote to award a contract to Cutler-Hammer for $95,000 for a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition for the new and existing power plants. An additional contract was also awarded to Wachter Network Services for $16,000 to install six strand fiber cable for communications between the plants and the Newton Street substation.
- Approved in a 5-0 vote to award a contract to Faith Technologies for $190,000 for power wiring for the new power plant.
- Approved in a 5-0 vote to award a contract to Palmer Manufacturing and Tank for $36,500 for two 19,500 gallon fuel oil storage tanks for the new power plant.
- Approved in a 5-0 vote to award a contract to Huxtable and Associates for $518,000 for power piping for the new power plant.