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Southwest City's board of alderman voted to authorize an impending sewer rate increase and approved the drafting of an ordinance outlining such during the regular meeting on Thursday, May 10.

City clerk Missy Zinn addressed the council regarding a sewer rate increase that would generate revenue to cover the expense of repairs to the wastewater plant. A resident's average sewer bill is currently $30. Zinn said raising the average bill $4.38 would generate an additional $6,000 in revenue per year.

Council members Karen Wallgren and Gloria Armstrong voted against the increase, and Mayor David Blake broke the tie with a vote in favor. The increase passed.

The council discussed the need to regulate the building permit process. After reviewing the permit process of surrounding cities, Blake suggested a minimum fee of $350. This would cover all necessary inspections in the event of new construction. Any reinspections would need to be paid for before a certificate of occupancy would be granted.

He also recommended permit extension fees and demolition fees. No permit would be needed for a project scope of fewer than 400 feet.

The council voted to begin drafting a new building permit ordinance.

Audrey Clinton approached the council to request compensation for a rock wall she had constructed to reroute runoff water in town. She said she had spoken with the council before construction but went ahead and made improvements before the city could budget for the project.

Mayor Blake said he was sorry to report, but there was nothing the city could do at this time.

Departmental Reports

Public works director Shane Clark reported spreading four tons of cold-patch on roads throughout town, mowing city property and repairing a dike on Broadway Street. He said the water department also repaired a leak on Thacker Street.

Bud Gow, chief of police, reported that Deputy Rick Lance has been injured and his shifts will need to be covered until further notice.

Mayor Blake inquired about Gow's work schedule. He asked that Gow be available during local business hours and arrange coverage accordingly.

Clerk Zinn asked if there were any other events, besides Old Timers' Day, where a vendor permit fee is waived. Mayor Blake said there was not. He also suggested a percentage of vendor's revenue be funneled back into the events.

"These vendors rake it in and the license fee is only $5," he said. "That's the price of a cup of lemonade or a pretzel."

Clerk Zinn recommended a new procedure for water disconnects. After receiving a bill, account holders have until the 21st of each month to pay before it becomes past due. Zinn suggested sending a late notice letter, then a 24-hour shut-off notice, if it remains unpaid. This would allow two and a half weeks notice overall. The council voted to approve this procedure.

In other business, the council:

• Voted to reschedule the next council meeting to Tuesday, May 29;

• Tabled a decision on bids for roof repair at the fire station until the next meeting;

• Voted to donate an additional $350 toward the purchase of worms for the kid's fishing derby;

• Heard Darrell Spillers voiced concern over local properties in disarray;

• Agreed that any vacation time unused by a city employee will be lost rather than paid out; and

• Spoke to local homeowners regarding an ongoing remodel. Mayor Blake and Alderman Steve Reece agreed to visit the site and make recommendations on a safe approach going forward.

General News on 05/17/2018

Print Headline: Sewer rates increased in Southwest City

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