Water and sewer rates for Smithville customers will increase with the passage of the 2010-11 city budget.
The proposed budget, totaling $6-million 160-thousand 768 was adopted on first reading by the Smithville Aldermen Tuesday night. Second and final reading passage will be scheduled following a public hearing at a special meeting on Thursday, September 16th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall.
City officials say the water and sewer fund is currently running in the red and if that continues two years in a row, the state will adjust the rates if the city doesn't act. The state requires municipal water and sewer systems to be financially self supporting. City leaders say Smithville has not raised water rates since 1998.
According to the current water and sewer rates, a customer with a minimum monthly bill pays $7.12 plus tax. Under the new rates, the same customer with a minimum monthly bill would pay $10.00 plus tax.
If a customer uses 4,000 gallons per month, he now pays $30.60 plus tax. Under the new rates, the same customer using 4,000 gallons per month would pay $40.00 plus tax.
Specifically, the rate for city water customers would increase from the current level of $3.50 to $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus a $1.50 increase from the current rate of $3.50 to $5.00 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage. Outside city rates would increase to $7.50 for the first one thousand gallons of water usage plus $7.50 for each additional one thousand gallons of usage
The rate for city sewer customers, under the new budget, would increase from the current level of $3.62 for a flat usage rate to $5.00 for the first one thousand gallons of usage plus a $1.75 cent increase from the current rate of $3.25 to $5.00 per thousand gallons thereafter.
The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District for water is $1.90 per thousand gallons but would increase to $1.95 beginning with January 1st, 2011 sales.
Water tap fees for customers inside the city limits would jump from $400 to $600 for a three quarter inch water line and the sewer tap fee would go from $400 to $600 for a four inch sewer line. If the lines are larger, the fees will continue to be cost plus 10%.
For customers outside the city limits, water tap fees would increase from $525 to $800 for a three quarter inch line. Fees would go from $525 to $800 for a four inch sewer line. If the lines are larger, then the fees will continue to be cost plus 10%.
The new budget calls for the property tax rate to remain the same at almost 62 cents ($.6194 cents) per $100 of assessed value.
The proposed budget calls for city employees with up to four years of service to get their automatic step pay increases as defined in the wage scale and a cost of living increase of 3.4% . City employees with more than four years of service, who have topped out on the wage scale would only get the cost of living increase.
Proposed capital outlay expenditures in the general fund for the new year come to $795,000. The largest single category is $400,000 for a used ladder truck.
Other Specific projects are as follows: Financial Administration- $25,000 unspecified
Parks and Recreation-$5,000 to pave a basketball court, $15,000 for a 1.5 mile walking trail, and $5,000 for a fence
Public Works/Buildings and Grounds- $15,000 for a trailer
City Hall Building - $25,000
Fire Protection- $15,000 for a compressor, $10,000 for a used vehicle and unspecified and $400,000 for the used ladder truck
Street Department- $10,000 for downtown beautification and $10,000 unspecified
Police Department- $25,000 for a police car, $7,000 for a security camera system, $2,500 for a car camera, and $5,500 unspecified
Swimming Pool- $10,000 unspecified
Airport- $190,000 for grant projects completion and $10,000 unspecified
Animal Shelter- $5,000 unspecified; Sanitation Fund- $5,000 and Drug Fund- $10,000 unspecified.
Proposed water and sewer fund Fixed Asset Additions: Automatic meter readers project- $360,000; update of water plant and engineering fees- $2,700,000; sewer rehabilitation camera $125,000; Debt repayment-principal: bonds- $233,560.
Although these capital outlay projects are budgeted, they all may not be funded during the year.
The proposed budget breaks down as follows:
General Fund: $3,022,500
Special Revenue Fund-Sanitation: $277,350
Water & Sewer Fund: $2,141,808
Drug Fund: $5,250
Appropriation of Surplus- General Fund: $528,951
Appropriation of Surplus-Drug Fund: $34,000
Appropriation of Surplus-Water & Sewer Fund: $154,909
Total Revenues: $6,160,768
General Fund: $3,551,451
Special Revenue Funds Sanitation: $271,315
Water & Sewer Fund: $2,292,717
Surplus in Sanitation Fund: $6,035
Drug Fund: $39,250
Total expenditures: $6,160,768Read the rest of this article