By Jan Rahn
Effective Oct. 1, Grant residents can expect a rate increase in their monthly utility bills for water and trash, a decision made by Grant City Council at their regular meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 14. Sewer rates remain the same at $12 per month.
• Water Rates: A 15 percent increase in water rates was approved by council.
The resolution will increase residential and commercial rates from $25.18 to $28.96 monthly.
Commercial (dependent upon water) rates will go from $35.96 per month to $43.35.
Commercial large users will increase from $179.81 to $206.78.
Outside city limits: Residential and commercial—from $37.76 to $43.42; commercial (dependent upon water) from $53.95 to $62.04; commercial large users from $269.73 to $310.19 per month.
• Trash Rates: Monthly trash rates have not increased since November 2008.
New rates are a 15 percent increase. They include:
Residential $24.15, commercial $33.35, residential/commercial large user $64.40.
Outside city limits: Residential $33.93, commercial $43.13, residential/commercial large user $74.18.
New Airport Construction
Also during council’s first meeting in August, a bid for a new three-bay box hangar at Grant Municipal Airport was awarded to C&S Construction, with work to begin late fall or early spring.
Council approved the airport expansion back in March. Ninety percent of the hangar project’s funding will be from the FAA. The city will pick up the remainder of the estimated $450,000 project.
Rental from the expanded hangar capacity at the airport will create enough compensation to pay for the city’s portion of the funding in a few years.
Reserves have been set aside for airport improvement projects—the money will not come from tax dollars.
The FAA’s portion of the funding comes from airline fuel tax and airline ticket tax—basically airport money going back to fund airport projects.
Several pilots who own planes in Perkins County need storage space. There has been a lot of local interest for quite some time from plane owners who wish to rent the space, and thus the hangars to be newly constructed are already spoken for.
The new hangars will be east of the north T-hangar.
A public hearing on Grant’s economic development program was held early in the meeting, followed by council discussion.
The city’s attorney will draw up language and rewording of the LB840 economic development program passed by voters back in 2002.
If approved by council at the next meeting, the initiative will be placed on the ballot for the November General Election for residents to approve another 10-year economic development program.
Because the initial program is nearing an end with the 2012-13 budget year, it must come before the voters to be continued for another 10-year period.
The program is used for business creation, expansion and transition in the Grant community.
In Other Business
• Connect/disconnect policy: Council members approved a language change in the connect/disconnect policy for city utilities which will apply to non-payment of bills, etc. It includes language on disconnecting/connecting utilities for the short-term, such as for absentee homeowners or rental property.
• Water/Lotto: Council released figures for the month of July on water use and lotto.
Water: July’s water use was 39,788,600 gallons, an increase of 5,368,500 gallons from June.
In a year-to-year comparison, water used in July 2012 was an increase of 18,309,500 million gallons compared to July 2011.
Lotto: July sales of lotto at DJs Bar and Grill totaled $8,711.25 with a payout of $6,094.85.
• Rental equipment rates: Council did an annual review of rates for rental equipment.
• Utility easement: Utilities crossing the alley adjacent to Perkins County Health Services will be moved at their expense for construction of an expansion project at the hospital.
• Vacating alley: Council members held a discussion on the city vacating an alley along land owned by Perkins County Health District to accommodate the hospital’s expansion project.