City of Cov­ing­ton wa­ter rates chang­ing

The Covington News - - Local News - By Rachel Oswald

The city of Cov­ing­ton is pre­par­ing to change its wa­ter rates to bring in line the prices that city res­i­dents and res­i­dents liv­ing out­side of the city pay. The coun­cil is also ex­pected to ap­prove a new wa­ter con­ser­va­tion rate sched­ule.

The coun­cil is ex­pected to vote on the pro­posed changes to the city’swa­ter rates at their first meet­ing in Oc­to­ber. They were briefed on the changes at a work ses­sion last week.

“We have for a while had a dis­par­ity in our wa­ter and sewer rates in the fact that peo­ple out­side of the city pay more than peo­ple in­side the city,” said City Man­ager Steve Horton, adding it had at one time been per­mis­si­ble be­cause of the scarcity of hous­ing out­side of city lim­its and the higher costs of run­ning wa­ter and sewer pipes to those ar­eas.

“In re­cent years, it’s got­ten hard to dis­tin­guish den­si­ties in­side the city and out­side,” Horton said. “This is an op­por­tu­nity for us to elim­i­nate the dis­par­ity in the rates and to also put into place some el­e­ment of con­ser­va­tion.”

Cur­rently cus­tomers in­side the city are pay­ing a rate of $13.55 for their first 3,000 gal­lons of wa­ter while cus­tomers out­side the city are pay­ing $14.90. Un­der the new sys­tem, all cus­tomers will pay $13.55, ac­cord­ing to a fee sched­ule pro­vided by the city.

“The state has been very adamant about the need for lo­cal gov­ern­ments to cre­ate some kind of con­ser­va­tion struc­ture,” Horton said. “One of the ways you help peo­ple meet those re­duc­tions is you charge more for more us­age.”

To­day wa­ter cus­tomers in­side the city are charged $4.32 per 1,000 gal­lons of wa­ter af­ter their first 3,000 gal­lons. Once they have used 50,000 gal­lons, the price de­creases to $3.52.

Un­der the new sched­ule, all wa­ter cus­tomers will be charged $4.32 per 1,000 gal­lons and $4.75 for any wa­ter us­age more than 50,000 gal­lons.

The New­ton Coun­tyWater and Sew­er­age Au­thor­ity im­ple­mented its own wa­ter con­ser­va­tion pric­ing sys­tem ear­lier this spring. In other city coun­cil news: Thecoun­cil re­viewed­changesto the city’s pur­chas­ing pol­icy ahead of Mon­day night’s vote on the doc­u­ment, which has been ex­panded from two and a half pages to 50 pages and “deals with ev­ery­thing from sole-provider type ven­dors to sealed bids.” said Horton.

Among the changes to the pol­icy are that depart­ment heads on a daily ba­sis will now be able to spend up to $1,000 for depart­ment needs, without prior coun­cil ap­proval.

The new pol­icy also grants the city man­ager the abil­ity to ap­prove pur­chases up to $20,000 without prior mayor and coun­cil ap­proval.

Any pur­chases greater than $20,000 must still be ap­proved by the mayor and coun­cil.

• The coun­cil also re­viewed changes to the city’s per­son­nel pol­icy, which among other things changes the city’s over­time pol­icy for po­lice and fire depart­ment em­ploy­ees. The per­son­nel pol­icy will be voted on Mon­day.

Cur­rently the city’s fire and pol­icy em­ploy­ees can re­ceive over­time af­ter work­ing more than 43 hours a week. Un­der the new pol­icy, which con­forms to fed­eral guide­lines, they will only be able to claim over­time after­work­ing more than 53 hours.

The change in over­time pay is ex­pected to save the city $80,000 a year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.