GLADSTONE - The Gladstone City Commission set electric, water and waste water rates for the 2012-13 fiscal year at its meeting Monday night. The commission also set the millage rates for the year and established a fee schedule.
Electric rates for residents will not change from the 2011-12 rates.
"This is a good thing, we haven't had to raise electric rates this year, and it has been a concern. In prior years we had to make some adjustments," said Commissioner Hugo Mattonen.
Water rates will experience a 25 cent per 1,000 gallon increase. This brings the cost of water to $4.45 per 1,000 gallons. "We're trying to keep up, and we need to do some upgrades on the plant, and we're slowly doing what we can afford," said Eric Buckman, superintendent of the Gladstone water treatment plant.
"We have about $200,000 worth of capital gains projects this year, including the 3rd Avenue North transmission main, and that's why I'm recommending a 25 cent increase," he continued.
The need to upgrade the plant was recognized by the commission. "The water treatment plant we operate with today went online somewhere around Jan. 1, 1970, so it's 42 years old," said Commissioner Joe Maki.
Wastewater rates are also increased for the coming year. The 50 cent per 1,000 gallon increase will raise the rate to $5.40 per 1,000 gallons.
"Again, we've got a plant that some parts were built in the '30s, some parts were built in the '70s, and last year we built a secondary clarifier. This year we're going to be doing some electrical work," said Buckman.
Due to changes to garbage and recycling fees made at the May 25 meeting, the millage rate for 2012 will be reduced to 13.6785. Residents are now charged a fee for the use of waste containers and city pickup. Prior to the change, residents paid for waste services through taxes.
"There have been some comments about our decision on solid waste," said Maki. "Commissioner Gay did an excellent job in analyzing for his own particular household, which is what a typical consumer would do of course, of the impact on his household. Anybody who wants to see that contact me."
The change in how garbage fees are assessed has reduced the millage rate by 1.8236.
All of the current fees will be posted on the city's website. The fee schedule approved at last night's meeting lists the rates for services, utilities and permits.
We can give them a document that they can look at and go through it, find what they're looking for if they don't want to ask the question or something," said Kimberly Berry, city clerk.
The 12-page document provides residents with an exhaustive list of fees.
"When you put it together like this, I didn't realize we had this many fees," said Mattonen.
Other cities in the area already have fee schedules, but this is the first year one will be available in Gladstone. "Really this has never been compiled in this way before," said Maki. "So it's a new document."