Kahoka Council Hears Proposal for Water and Sewer Rate Increases

Kahoka Council Hears Proposal for Water and Sewer Rate Increases

By Mike Scott

The Kahoka Board of Aldermen listened to a proposal to hike the city’s water and sewer rates at their Monday night, March 12 meeting.
The rate increase would help cover the costs of the city’s multi-year waterline replacement project and the improvements at the water generation and pumping facility near Wayland.
City Assistant Jim Sherwood suggested a two dollar per month increase in the minimum water rate, from $10 to $12 per month, as well as raising the over 2000 gallon rates by 25 cents per 1000 gallons.
Sherwood also suggested a one dollar increase in the sewer minimum, as well as a 15 cent per 1000 gallon increase for over 2000 gallons usage.
The city would gain approximately $34,000 from the 11 percent water rate increase, and another $16,000 from the 17 percent sewer rate hike. Total revenue gained would be approximately $50,000 per year.
“We currently have the lowest rates in the area,” said Kahoka Mayor Wayne Blum. “If we adopt these rates, we would still be fifth from the bottom of the list.”
The board took no action on the proposal at this time.
Sherwood also reported on the status of the Downtown Enhancement Grant. He met last week John Hummel, the new project engineer from MECO Engineering in Hannibal. The original work estimates were found to be incorrect, and have been resubmitted to MoDOT for approval. Within 30-45 days, the project could be ready to go to the bidding phase.
The City of Kahoka plans to use to grant to replace sidewalks on the east and west side of the square, as well as those sidewalks in the City Park.
The board reviewed five bids for the 2011 cemetery mowing contract, and went against the Cemetery Board’s recommendation of the high bidder Bob Boese, whose bid was $22,800. The Cemetery Board’s second choice was low bidder John Jarvis, with a bid of $18,800.
Local mowing contractor Kent Hunziker criticized the Cemetery Board for not checking any of his references this year or in the past, and asked council members. “Why are you going out of town when you have people right here that can do the job?”
After discussion, the council accepted Hunziker’s bid, which was the second lowest, in the amount of $19,800.
The board also approved the low bid for waterline replacement material. The low bidder was Water and Sewer Supply, with a bid of $38,610.34.
The board approved the low
bid of $9800 for contracted understreet boring as part of the waterline replacement project. The low bidder was Keokuk Contractors.
The board accepted the low bid of $8816 for a smaller boring machine which can connect with several pieces of equipment owned by the city. The lowest bidder was Power Ram.
The board also discussed the replacement of bodies on two of the city’s vehicles, a dump truck and the water department truck.
The board gave a third and final reading and adopted a city ordinance requiring that water and sewer lines be properly capped when demolishing a property.
Valerie Brown of the Clark County Health Department discussed two grants she is pursuing to improve sidewalks near the school and around the city. If both grants are approved, the city could receive up to $550,000 for sidewalk, program and policy improvements.
The board discussed its current bad debt policy. Current policy requires anew owner, landlord or new tenant to pay any outstanding city bills left by a previous owner or tenant before city services will be reconnected. In some cases, those charges have been paid by the landlord, and the previous tenant has been able to receive service at a different location.
The board asked City Attorney April Wilson to review the policy and make a recommendation as to whether the city could require a higher deposit in that instance.
In other business, the board:
–Approved approved two building permits.
–Discussed the routing of the foundation drainage system for the new Clark County Courthouse.
–Discussed a request from Kent Nixon to provide a sewer connection to IMI Implement. ?The board denied the request, as IMI is not located within the city limits of Kahoka.
–Fire Chief Lary Fountain reported that he was able to purchase 15 pagers with the grant money received, rather that the 13 he originally planned.
–Police Chief Bill Conger reported 77 calls for service in February, and noted that March is much busier.
–The board began discussion of priority snow routes.