SWC Council Approves Water Rate Increase
New water rates were established by Southwest City’s Board of Aldermen during their session on Dec. 22.
Water bills had previously been calculated on a tiered-usage scale. Now they will be totalled based on a flat usage scale.
Residential accounts will be charged a $12 minimum fee, then $4.50 for each additional 1,000 gallons. This will raise the average residential water bill of 4,000 gallons from $24.25 to $25.50.
In order to qualify for USDA grants, the average residential bill would need to total $37.87. Mayor Joe Carpenter explained that he is not prepared to make that drastic of an increase. Instead, the city will be depositing $2,500 in a water account each month. This will theoretically put aside $30,000 each year to replace approximately 1,500 feet of pipe annually.
Commercial accounts will also be charged a $12 minimum, but
each 1,000 gallons after will be $3.75. This will raise the average commercial water bill of 10,000 gallons from $35.75 to $45.75.
The council unanimously voted to approve Ordinance No. 592, enacting these new water rates, effective Jan. 1.
Police Chief Bud Gow notified the council of a letter he recently received from Crowder College asking permission for another student to ride along with an officer as an extracurricular supplement to her criminal justice classes. The council voted to grant Norma Lucero permission to ride along with a member of the Police Department.
Gow told the council that the desktop computer currently in place at City Hall needs replacing. It is three to five years old and the video card is not functioning. He said that a turnkey computer would cost $1,195. The council voted to purchase a new computer for the office, with the stipulation that it not be purchased until 2016 so as not to disrupt the budget.
Public Works Director Shane Clark reported attending water treatment training classes with Jack Coatney Dec. 7-11. The Water Department worked to winterize the triangle and restrooms at Blankenship Park. The Sewer Department is scheduled to hook the NAPA Auto Parts store to sewer and water service next week. The Street Department has been busy winterizing city vehicles, repairing signs, and steadily working to hang Christmas lights. They also changed the restroom locks at Blankenship Park and a key knob at the Senior Citizen’s Center.
Alderman Joe Stark asked that gravel be laid on a road in the west side of town to fill potholes. He said he will maintain the road himself. In other business: • The council approved the 2016 budget with projected expenses totalling $793,324 and excess revenue of $10,852.
• The council tabled the approval of a building permit at 312 Poplar St. because it is unclear if it meets the 25-foot setback requirement from a city easement or roadway.
• The council voted to award prize money of $100 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place to the winners of Southwest City’s Christmas Light Contest. Debbie Dover at 505 Broadway St., Alma Ruano at 311 Academy St., and Ruben Saucedo at 207 Choctaw St. were the recipients respectively.