Minden Press-Herald

Thursday
Aug 28th

Water rates on the rise

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City of Minden water customers will be paying more for H2O effective October 1.

Members of the Minden City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday to raise water rates.

"It's been a long time since we've had a water imcrease," said District C councilman Tommy Davis." A study by our water department shows we've been selling water for less than it costs us to produceit. If we pass this tonight, we'll still be right at or below the cost to produce water."

The amount a customer will be raised will depend on consumption, whether the customer is residential or industrial and if the customer is inside or outside Minden city limits.

"Depending on how much water you use, the average residential customer inside the city limits will pay an average of $5 to $7 a month more," said Minden Mayor Bill Robertson. "The last time we had a water rate increase was in 2004. We don't anticipate anymore rate increases."

Currently, Minden residents enjoy a flat fee of $4 up to 2,000 gallons of water. Any usage over that is billed at $1.95 per 1,000 gallons.

The council also unanimously approved a separate resolution establishing fees for water taps, fire hydrant permits and service calls, fines and penalties.

The City of Minden is currently serving approximately 5,650 individual water customer accounts and water utility revenues are mostly a result of water use charges

"We are basically raising the rates to what it costs us (the city) now," said Fayrine Kennon-Gilbert, councilwoman from District B. "It's not putting us in a profit mode – but more of a break-even mode."

The proposed Water Capital Improvement Program for fiscal year 2010/2011 to fiscal year 2014/2015 is projected to total 4.6 million dollars.

Revenue from rate raises will fund capital improvements necessary to upgrade aging distribution systems and treatment facilities.

The projects to be addressed under this program would be 2.8 million dollars for a new water storage tank, 1.3 million dollars for replacement or upgrade of the water distribution infrastructure and half a million dollars for a new water well.

In other business, the council unanimously approved the following items:

Hiring of a new Minden Police Officer;

Request for a zoning variance on property at 1434 Shreveport Road for a mobile home;

Condemned property at 401 Columbia Street;

A hardship request for the property at 1434 Shreveport Road;

Appointment of Elaine Eaton to the Minden Main Street Board of Directors;

Reappointment of Eugene Martin to the Minden Housing Authority Board of Directors;

Authorize the mayor to enter into a contract with William Douglas Mitchell for the 2011 redistricting project;

Selection of the Minden Press-Herald as official journal for advertisements and publication of legal matters;

Award a bid on surplus property; and

Heard the monthly police report from police chief Steve Cropper.


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