|Council looks at rates and projects|
By Jan Rahn
The Grant City Council spent nearly an hour discussing water, sewer, waste and electric rates and projects at their regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 28.
The city’s infrastructure needs for the future were broken down into facilities, equipment, inventory and potential projects.
Looking down the road 10 years, there are several repair or maintenance items that will be required by the city’s water department.
Water rates have not increased for over five years, however, if all aspects of the 10-year plan were put into action, rates would need to increase $9 per month, or 45 percent.
Current residential rates are $20.14. Commercial rates total $28.77, and large users pay $143.85 per month.
Some of the items listed for potential repair or installation in the future include a backup generator for well six at an estimated cost of $60,000; a new water main from First to Eighth Street on Washington which is a $240,000 cost estimate; $90,000 for a water main replacement on Fifth Street from Central to Logan; a new water main from First to Eighth on Logan could cost as much as $250,000, a water main on Sherman $130,000, all of Sixth Street on the west side of Central $110,000, and a new main from Hall to Warren on Third Street is estimated at $30,000.
Among the top 10 itemized projects for the water department was water meters at a cost of $700,000.
Next spring the water tower is scheduled for cleaning and inspection which has not been done for seven years. The fee of $10,000 is included in the budget.
Also listed on the 10-year plan is repainting the water tower—an estimated cost of $75,000. The 200,000 gallon capacity tower was last painted in 1991.
The current monthly rate for sewer service to customers is $12.
Although a rate increase is not recommended at this time, there are reasons to think the old system will require much repair in the future.
The city’s sewer system continues to age and there are areas of old clay tile pipes that continue to break and crack, not to mention damage caused from tree roots.
Most of the lines in town are over 75 years of age and in need of repair.
The severity is unknown, said City Superintendent Tyson McGreer, recommending to the council that a program be started to camera sections of line every year and start replacing some of the worst areas.
McGreer said a back-up generator is needed for long power outages. This could be a stationary generator or a portable one to satisfy the needs of both lift stations.
The lift station at the park needs only periodic maintenance. It is in good working condition with two pumps. The south lift station, which is in good working condition with one pump, needs a secondary pump.
The city’s lagoon is in good working condition and is designed for over 3,000. No capital improvements are necessary.
The city owns a 1973 garbage truck and a newer 2008 dump truck.
McGreer’s recommendation is to replace the older truck with a newer one or a 30 yard dumpster.
McGreer suggests the council continue to purchase new dumpsters every year to rotate older stock of inventory which consists of 225 three-yard containers and 68 90-gallon containers.
Rates to residents for hauling waste is $21 per month.
Some projects suggested and outlined for the future include:
Lines and poles need replaced along Highway 23 that runs from Central Avenue to the cemetery.
Future repairs need to be considered on underground lines, or new line be placed in the ground for better weather protection.
Consider replacing main street lines with underground lines to alleviate some of the downtown tree problems.
Consider extending street lights north along Highway 61 to Road 761 similar to the lights along Highway 23.
In Other Business
• A request was made of the council by Eddie Martens of the Nebraska Air National Guard to help promote an aircraft nose art project.
Artwork is being solicited from students which will be selected as nose art on a Nebraska Air National Guard KC-135 aircraft.
The chosen artwork depicting the name of a Nebraska town will appear on the aircraft for one year as it travels across the country and around the world.
• Planning and Zoning representatives Chris Loeffler and Dennis Demmel of Grant along with Jack Quinlivan of Ogallala made a request to council to consider forming a joint city/county commission for the airport.
Joint planning by the two entities would improve communication and efficiency, avoid confusion and duplication of effort.
• Council members approved a resolution outlining new rental rates for city-owned equipment effective Oct. 1.
• A resolution was approved for recreation fees for the City of Grant, including pool fees, baseball/softball registration fees, and winter basketball registration fees.
Pool pass fees: Family $75, adults $40, students $35, senior citizens $35.
Daily pool fees (up $1): Students $3, adults $4, senior citizens $3.
Swim aerobics: Annual pass holders are free, $20 for season plus daily fees.
Red Cross lessons: First child $30, second child $25, each additional child $20.
Baseball/softball: Late fee of $40 if registration is not received on time. First child $30, second child $25, each additional child $20. Fees are up $5.
Basketball: Late fee of $40 if registration not received on time. First child $25, second child $20, each additional child $15. Fees increased $5.
Pool party fee: $30 plus lifeguard fee.