Laurie citizens to pay more for water, sewer - News

Laurie citizens to pay more for water, sewer

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Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013 8:28 pm | Updated: 8:29 pm, Sun Dec 15, 2013.

LAURIE, Mo. — A three percent increase in water and sewer rates will go into effect next year for Laurie residents.

The Laurie Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance resetting rates for water and sewer services at their Wednesday, Dec. 11 board meeting. 

The monthly rate for water and sewer service to users both commercial and residential shall be as follows:

  • On the first 1,000 gallons or any portion used in one month, $9.26 up from $9.03. On all further gallonage thereafter, $9.26 per each 1,000 gallons 
  • For commercial and residential sewer customers on the city water system the rate will be $7.47, up from $7.26, for each 1,000 gallons in a month of water usage. 

Usage will be read and billed to the nearest 10 gallons. These ordinances will be in full effect from and after Tuesday, April, 1, 2014.

In a city budget session Wednesday, Dec. 4, Public Works Director Ed Young explained how the city determines what rate to charge. The expenses for the water and sewer departments were put into the rate program, Young explained, then the program determines the revenues that are needed to comply with the city’s bond restrictions and ordinances which require the city to put aside $31,000 in sewer capital and $28,000 in water capital each year. The water and sewer bond requirements determined the city had to collect revenues at the rate of 110% of expenses. The water and sewer revenues indicated a three percent increase and were necessary to comply with bond restrictions; however, it is estimated the increase is still 10 percent less than required by the city’s bond agreement. The only time the city would have to raise the rates the 10 percent as required by their bonding company would be if the city wanted to apply for additional bond funding for a project. 

According to Mayor Keck, the city does not need the approval from the United States Department of Agriculture to change its water and sewer rates, as is in the case for other sewer districts, because Laurie refinanced its sewer bonds with a private company in 2012.

Usage will be read and billed to the nearest 10 gallons. These ordinances will be in full effect from and after Tuesday, April, 1, 2014.

City opposes cell tower bill

In other board business, after a presentation by Former Mayor Rick Purdon on information concerning House Bill 331 and 345 dealing with Municipalities Regulatory Control, the board approved Mayor Keck to send a letter to state legislators expressing the city’s opposition to the bills. 

According to Purdon, the bills were written by AT&T and they give the State of Missouri blanket approval to put cell towers or antennas on structures without the approval of local counties or municipalities. The two bills were declared unconstitutional and are in remission at the present time. The bills will be re-written in January and presented to the legislature again. Purdon said he believed that when this bill is re-introduced, the rights of municipalities will get more attention.

“The handprint of the telecommunications industry is all over these bills,” Purdon charged.

Currently, Laurie has a P&Z ordinance that includes the placement of cell towers to a height of 45 feet; they can go up to 100 feet in specific conditions.

New reserve officer 

The Laurie Police Department has hired and trained new reserve officer John Christian. Christian has worked for the City of Laurie for two weeks. He completed his academy training in May 2013 and he previously was employed with the Sunrise Beach Police Department. 

Other board decisions

The board approved Mayor Herb Keck’s appointment of Sarah McElwee to the Laurie Enhancement Committee. McElwee lives in Camdenton and she is a partial-owner of JJ’s at the Copper Pot in Laurie.   

The board tabled decisions on sound abatement for the board meeting room, sun tinting for office windows and repairs to the city drive, pending further investigation of pricing and options

The board went into closed session for discussion of property. The board approved authorizing Mayor Keck to execute a six month lease agreement with ReMax® for the upper portion of the new Laurie City Hall.   

The next meeting of the Laurie Board of Aldermen is schedule for 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 13 at the new Laurie City Hall on Highway 5.

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