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Rosston water issue settled

By Staff, 04/18/18 11:47 AM

ROSSTON – April’s meeting of the Rosston City Council put an end to the water meter issue.

The council voted to require everyone to have their own meter and those 26 who are on someone else’s meter to get a perk test and have a meter installed at their home.

The decision didn’t make everyone happy. Herbert Coleman, before the vote, again asked the council to ignore those already connected with someone else because of the expense. He was reminded the perk test is a state requirement and once it’s done, those customers will have a year to get a septic system installed. He was also reminded if septic systems aren’t installed, those involved will be dealing with the state, not the City of Rosston.

In the end, the council voted to require all 26 known residents who are hooked into someone else’s meter to get their own and pay full price for it. The council agreed those who can’t come up with $450 at one time can make monthly payments on their water bills and failure to make the payments will result in the meters being pulled.

Richard King with the Rural Community Assistance Program addressed the council on water rates. Rosston Mayor Lewis Jackson had asked King to redo the study adding the 26 customers who are on someone else’s meter, to see how this would affect the water rates. The council was told the addition won’t affect the overall rates, but will reduce the user charge from $6.05 to $5.40 per 1,000 gallons. He told the panel the proposed new rates would take effect Jan. 1, 2019, saying a 1 percent growth was figured in for new customers. He said the more customers who are on the system, the less it costs.

Coleman argued the recent rate hike, asking if it was compared to other communities. King said the rate study done for Rosston was based solely on information for the Rosston Water Department and community. King said the flat rate on billing is based on the city’s debt service costs. A 5 percent annual increase on bills, he continued, is due to the increased costs in other areas, but salaries were not included into the figures.

Jackson added a 5 percent annual increase may not be enough to cover costs at times. Part of the problem, it was pointed out, is the system has lost more customers than it’s gained.

In other business, Jackson said he’s met with representatives from the Census Bureau and received a box of forms. Apparently, he told the council, the city could be expected to get people to fill out the census forms.