Last updated: August 28. 2013 1:48PM - 163 Views

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During its final meeting before a 12 percent rate increase to water bills takes effect, the Board of Public Works voted to approve its budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The rate increase, which was approved in December, will help fund more than $800,000 in capital improvements.

“As far as budgets go, this is one of the best I’ve seen,” water department general manager Charlie Brosch said. “This 12 percent increase will let us accomplish a lot of things.”

The increase, slated to go into effect starting next month, is expected to bring in about $350,000 its first year and about $100,000 each additional year, depending on water sales.

Brosch said a portion of that money will go toward capital improvement projects, including purchasing two backup generators for wells, three water main replacements and renovations to the Water Department building to make it ADA-compliant.

“As capitol improvements go, it’s probably more than we have ever been able to do,” Brosch said. “Usually we are down around $300,000 to $400,000 on projects.”

And while residents may be upset about the rate increase, it was necessary Brosch said.

“You look at the budget and see almost $1 million worth of improvements,” he said. “Hopefully, people see we aren’t just taking this (revenue from the rate increase) and putting it in our pocket.”

The water department hasn’t raised rates in a decade, Brosch added. Residents can expect to see an increase of about $2 per month, while businesses can expect an increase of about $6 per month.

During the meeting, the board also heard a presentation from Roy Hunter, of Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County. Hunter was there with Linda Christle, executive director of the development corporation, to ask the board if it would be willing to sit down with representatives from Tyson and General Cable (formerly AlCan Cable) to discuss the possibility of the city providing some water service to the companies’ Dresden facilities.

“We are not looking to resolve the issue, but just to get you two together if there is an interest in discussing it,” Christle said.

Brosch said while providing water would bring in revenue to the department, he didn’t know if it was feasible.

“It is revenue, but we also need to keep our (city) customers in mind,” said water board president Jack Robinson. “We don’t want to commit to providing water, then have a drop in service. There’s a finite amount of water available and we have obligations (to the city). That being said, I have no problem talking with Tyson; we need to find out the requirements, what they want and decide if we can to provide them with that.”

The board agreed to meet with Tyson representatives to discuss the issue further.





The Fiscal Year 2014 budget calls for funding for several capital improvement projects including:

• Backup generators for Well No. 16, $100,000

• Backup generators for Well No. 17, $100,000

• Remove old paint on outside of Clear Well at the plant and repaint, $125,000

• Remodel downstairs in water department office to make it ADA-compliant, $90,000

• New service truck with utility bed, $24,660

• New service truck with utility bed, $24,660

• New diesel-powered mower for the Water Plant grounds, $12,000

• Replace anthracite in filters at the water plant, $20,000

• Herold Street Phase 2, $284,933.10

• North Heard Street, Autumn Avenue and Spring Street (replacing water mains), $25,000

Total capitol improvements $806,253.10

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