minutes 002212012 public hearing water rate increases by HC120912042844


									The Public Hearing for the purpose of hearing all persons in supports of or in opposition to proposed
water rate increases in all rate classes for the funding of construction and continued operations
including current inflationary levels was opened Tuesday, February 21, 2012 by Mayor Jimison at
6:30pm. The following Council members were present: Gerald Reichert, Linda Jones, Carrie Sokoloski,
Steve Bury, Mike Dryden, Leon Baker and Rhett Coon. Others present were Treasurer Kathleen Zander,
Director of Operations Kevin Dorwart, Director of Public Works Gary Zuroff, Assistant Director of Public
Works Jack Rice and representatives from KXGN and the Ranger Review. Others in the audience which
signed the attendance sheet were as follows: Charles Mohr, Jerry Geiger, Preston Salisbury, Marcia
Holas and Willis Bonner.

Mayor Jimison declared the public hearing open and directed the Council’s attention to the comparative
analysis of water rates sheet that was included in the packets. The water rates sheet was mailed out
with the water bills to all City water users.

Mayor Jimison then asked if there was anyone in the audience who would like to speak for or against
the proposed water rate increases.

Charles Mohr, 303 North Nowlan, spoke against the increase. He questioned the Council as to what
happened to the increases that were proposed five years ago stating if the administration were the ones
who dropped the ball; the burden should not fall to the taxpayers now. People on fixed incomes will
have to decrease their water usage. The result of higher rates will result in brown lawns. Mayor Jimison
explained the Council several years ago did approve a 5 year plan of water rate increases but only
passed the first year. The proposed increases presented tonight include automatic increases for this
year and the next four so the increases will go into effect automatically without another vote from the
Council. Mohr feels the high increases now are a direct result of administration not doing their job after
the last plan was approved years ago.

Jerry Geiger spoke in favor on the increases stating they should have been done years ago. His one
complaint however was not with the amount of the increases but with the increment schedule. Geiger
feels the increase should be done all at one time and not be spread out. He also encourages the Council
to remain proactive in the future as to any rate increases that may be necessary.

Preston Salisbury, 808 North River, has mixed emotions regarding the proposed increases. He
understands the need to maintain infrastructure but is upset about the Council not following through on
the increases last time and the fact the increases are so substantial now. He wanted to be sure the new
rates are not for new construction but instead maintenance of existing structures. He also asked if in
five years the Council was going to have to ask for more substantial increases because they hadn’t
thought out maintenance levels that will be required in the future. Councilman Coon told Salisbury the
new increases are not for new construction. Any new construction done will have to be paid by
developers and contractors involved and not the City. Dorwart told Salisbury the proposed increases
took into account borrowing money for maintenance for current projects that are necessary and also
allowed for a certain amount to be put into R&D so the City can maintain the structure like Salisbury is
talking about without significant increases to the rate schedule.

Marcia Holas, 100 Divide, questioned the Council as to the need of such high increases and as to how
they decided if the increase should be on the base or on the usage. She also asked if the bulk water
station could be used to subsidize the City water users. Zuroff and Dorwart told her that even though
the station is new and the revenue increase is not substantial, they are hoping the increased usage will
help a little bit. Any revenue from the Water Station will go directly to the Water Department. Coon
and Reichert explained to Holas the many discussions that were held to determine the increases.
Increases in base rates and usages were discussed to try to be as fair as possible to everyone.

Mayor Jimison asked if there was anyone else in the audience who would like to speak for or against the
proposed water rate increase.

Mayor Jimison read several letters and phone messages he had received:
Shirley Hubbard, 1702 N Pinion Lane, Sun City AZ is ok with the increase.
Dennis Getz, N. River – is ok with the increase
Rodney Schafer, 522 E Benham asks the Council to seriously consider the impact this increase will have
on the finances of water users in Glendive. It is a substantial burden.
Paul E. Hull, 204 West Ames Wye – Go for it!
Shawn and Becky Lindvig, 515 South Taylor – The increase is ridiculous.
Chris Baer – Understands the need but is opposed to the increase.

Mayor Jimison asked one more time if there was anyone else in the audience that would like to speak
for or against the proposed water rate increase.

Mayor Jimison asked if Department Heads had any comments.

With no further business, the public hearing was closed at 7:09pm.
Dated this 21st day of February, 2012.
Approved the 6th day of March, 2012.

                                                         Jerry Jimison, Mayor


Kathleen Zander, Treasurer

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