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Terrytown approves five percent utility rate hike
October 09, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
During their October meeting, Terrytown City Engineer Jeff Wolfe asked council members whether the city should raise its utility rates, now that the 2014 – 2015 budget has been passed.

“We had proposed a five percent hike in both water and sewer in the budget,” Wolfe said. “Currently, families are paying $26.60 a month for water and $34.54 for sewer.”

A five percent hike would raise rates to about $28 a month for water and about $37 a month for sewer. Gradual increases over the past few years have been in anticipation of a large expenditure to upgrade the city’s water system to include a new water tower, water meters for all city businesses and residences and water purchases from Gering.

Wolfe said the city would experience a substantial increase in rates once the water meter project is completed. Terrytown currently charges one flat rate for water usage.

Council agreed to the five percent increase. Wolfe said he would draft an ordinance for the board to consider for passage at their Nov. 6 meeting.

A hike in sanitation rates was also discussed. Waste Management, which collects garbage for the city, announced it will increase its rates by 2.1 percent next year.

In the year to date through August, Terrytown had collected $90,597 for sanitation and paid Waste Management $67,903.

“That doesn’t mean you’re making a profit off the garbage,” Wolfe told the council. “Those fees are used to maintain the alleys so the garbage trucks can get in and out. Plus we have our own time and equipment costs.”

Council members agreed to a three percent hike in sanitation rates to cover the added expense from Waste Management and provide a cushion for the service.

In other action, council members agreed to spend $5,000 in keno funds to help the Carpenter Center build a new basketball court and picnic shelter. Center director Bob Nimnich said he would like to have the new facility completed by next spring.
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