In May 27 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
Jamestown water and sewer customers will see an increase in their monthly bills for these services in the coming weeks, it was announced at this month's city council meeting.
The council heard the first readings of two ordinances, one for water rates and one for sewer rates, at the meeting last Thursday at City Hall.
According to the ordinances, customers can expect an across-the-board 8.7 percent increase in water rates and a 42.5 percent increase in sewer rates after the ordinance is read a second time and passed by the council.
Mayor Brooks Bates said the increases must be made to meet Jamestown's obligatory bond debts after the recent expanding of both the water and sewer plants, which are located within the city.
“If we had kept the present rate I think we would have been about $500,000 in the hole,” Bates said.
City leaders will meet again on Friday at 5 p.m. at city hall in a special called meeting and are expected to have a second reading and vote on the rate increases at that time.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• Councilwoman Marcelene Taylor, who also heads the Lakefest committee, said that the pieces are falling into place for this year's Lakefest celebration, which was not held last year due to a variety of reasons.
She said the fireworks and entertainment had already been scheduled and more finalizations will come and be released in the coming weeks. The fireworks will be set off from the parking lot of Jamestown Elementary School, like they were during the last Lakefest celebration back in 2008.
“It is going to be exciting,” she said of the event. “We're starting with out regular Wednesday night worship service and going through Saturday night.”
The event will begin Wednesday, June 30 and run through Saturday, July 3 with the headlining entertainment to be country music legend Marty Stuart on the final night.
“We're very fortunate to have him, he is very versatile,” Taylor said.
• Public Works Director Ottis Skaggs said the city recently participated in online chemical bidding for chemicals needed at the water and sewer treatment plant for production.
“We ended up with a total savings, of after doing online reverse bidding, of $54,903 just on chemicals, per year,” Skaggs said.
For example, he said, the city uses 260 tons of chlorine each year at the plant, which translates into well over $100,000 just for that chemical alone.
Skaggs said there were several companies taking part in bidding process with bids being submitted every three minutes, with caused the process to take nearly three hours.
Councilwoman Marcelene Taylor and Councilman Larry Joe Murray said Skaggs should be commended for his forward thinking and work in the online bidding endeavor.
• City leaders heard the first reading of the amended budget ordinance for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The ordinance will have to be read again before it becomes official.
Bates said there likely wouldn't be any major purchased in the next year's budget after Jamestown recently purchased a fire truck, dump truck and several new police cruisers.
• The council adopted a resolution that approved the Municipal Aid Co-op Program road funding that the city uses each year for maintaining city streets and roadways.
• Bates commended the city's employees for the hard work of cleaning up the city after the hard rainfall and subsequent flooding of roads earlier this month.