By Amanda Trent, Times Reporter
The Clay City council approved the second reading of the ordinance pertaining to water and sewer rates at their regular meeting on Dec. 21. The minimum bill for customers inside city limits, for up to 2,000 gallons, will increase to $17.16 and to $21.71 for customers outside city limits. Per 1,000 additional gallons, the cost to customers in the city limits will be $6.31 and $9.09 for those outside city limits. Sewer rates will remain the same. These new water rates go into effect on January 1.
The decision to raise rates was one that could not be avoided said Mayor Caudill, citing rising costs to the city for water purchased from Beechfork Water Commission.
After a second reading, the council also passed a Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance for the City of Clay City. Structures and land within the specified area can not be “located, extended, converted or structurally altered” without compliance to the ordinances provisions. This will require land and property owners to obtain a permit before improvements are made. New construction and improvements of a substantial nature must be constructed with materials and utility equipment resistant to flood damage. The ordinance also states that the lowest floor of any new or substantially improved construction shall have the lowest floor elevated to or above base flood elevation or have the floor flood-proofed. Penalties of $100 per day, per violation, or imprisonment can be levied for those who violate the provisions of the ordinance.
Members of Clay City Council voted to solicit bids for garbage collection services. Prior to the vote, Stacey Chambers, a Rumpke representative addressed the council offering to renew the city’s current contract with no increase for one year. City Attorney Scott Graham advised the council that they did not have to make a decision that night as to whether to accept Rumpke’s offer or to solicit bids for the service. Later in the meeting, the council decided to proceed with soliciting bids. Representatives from Veolia Environmental Services were present during the meeting and had expressed a previous interest in submitting a bid to offer waste management services.
A resident of Echo Hollow Road addressed council with concerns about lack of water pressure in her home which in turn made showering and filling the washing machine less than ideal. “If there is a fire up here, we are in trouble,” the resident said. Mayor Caudill said that problem likely stems from the fact that there is no pump on the line and that gravity prevents adequate flow from the tower. Mayor Caudill said that he would speak Ron Rogers from Bell Engineers to get an idea of how the problem could be resolved.
Updates to city hall are in the works. The council approved a resolution to enter into an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant that will provide funds to upgrade the windows and heating and air.
In personnel news, the council voted to give water and sewer employee Steven Haddix a raise. Haddix recently completed special training and became certified for collection systems. The council also discussed a second raise for Haddix upon completion of his next certification.