Mills city council searches for plan to increase utilities rates
Kevin Cederstrom email@example.com The New York Mills City Council discussed at length when and how much to raise water and sewer rates for residents to pay for the upcoming wastewater treatment facility upgrade. Mayor Randy Clarksean led the discus...
The New York Mills City Council discussed at length when and how much to raise water and sewer rates for residents to pay for the upcoming wastewater treatment facility upgrade.
Mayor Randy Clarksean led the discussion and although nothing was decided at Tuesdays meeting Mills residents can expect a significant jump in rates this summer. The base monthly rate for sewer service is currently at $11.70 and will most likely at least double when the council plans to raise the rates, tentatively July 1.
Rather than continue to raise the rates gradually the council decided Tuesday when the rates do go up again it will be a significant jump. The water rates will likely increase as well. The council is expected to discuss the issue again at next months meeting. The city will work with its financial advisors in the coming weeks to find the best plan of raising rates.
The wastewater treatment facility upgrade is a two-year project with an estimated cost of about $4.3 million. Financing to pay for the project will likely include a Small Cities Grant, which the city has already received, and a low interest loan from Minnesota Public Facilities Authority (PFA). the city will repay the loan through its general tax levy, utility fees, and/or special assessments.
The existing facility was constructed in 1964. In 1979 a portion of the facility was modified, including the installation of the existing center pivot irrigator for land application.
The final design is expected by the end of June and construction could begin in early fall.
Country View Phase II
The council passed a resolution Tuesday authorizing Ulteig Engineers to move forward with the design and plans for the Country View Phase II housing development. Jon Pratt, of Ulteig, expects to have the design finished by the end of the month with construction to begin later this summer. Construction includes installing the utilities, streets (paved, curb and gutter), and a lift station. Pratt hopes to get bids for construction by mid-summer.
Park Street/Jaeger Addition
With the bids in to pave Park Street and the Jaeger Addition the council elected to pass on the low bid and award the contract to the next lowest. Lakes Paving was the low bid and is the same company that paved the roads in Hidden Trails. The problems and poor workmanship in that job are well-documented and the company still needs to do corrective work in Hidden Trails before the city completes payment for the project. On Tuesday the council passed a resolution awarding the Park Street/Jaeger contract to Central Specialties at a bid of $220,000 - about $7,000 more than Lakes Paving.
The council based its decision on the poor performance by Lakes Paving last year. The company has reportedly made extensive personel changes and the city wants the company to prove themselves with the corrective work before awarding another contract. Clarksean and the rest of the council did agree Lakes should be considered for future projects after the work in Hidden Trails is complete.