W’bago ups storm sewer, water rates
At the last Winnebago City Council meeting, a motion was passed to increase the cost of storm sewer and water utilities. These will be the first rate increases of this kind since 2014.
Previously, the storm water monthly fee totaled $3.92. After the rate increase, the monthly fee will be $4.92.
The water utility base fee, which now stands at $20.05, will also increase by one dollar per month to $21.05. Also, an extra 50 cents per thousand gallons above 2,000 will be added to the water utility fee.
These changes will go into effect as of July 1. Meanwhile, sanitary sewer fees will not be affected.
City administrator Chris Ziegler cited audit reports which revealed the utilities have been running at a break-even point or lower for several years. However, plans to move forward with the Northwest Project has created the need for a rate hike as dictated by the Public Facilities Authority.
Meanwhile, city council-woman Jean Anderson expressed sympathy for the citizens affected by the additional costs.
“I think it’s unfortunate that we have to raise costs because we’ve been trying to keep costs down,” Anderson said.
Other items at the meeting included:
The council authorized deputy city clerk Jessi Sturtz to attend the Municipal Clerks Advanced Academy on Sept. 20 and 21 in Brainerd.
The resignation of part-time police officer Robert Toland was accepted by the City Council.
At the suggestion of Winnebago Ambulance captain Cari Jenkins, the council authorized the purchase of a second LUCAS chest compression device. According to Jenkins, she has already raised approximately $13,000 of the $15,000 needed for the new equipment.
The council went into a closed session to discuss the performance evaluation of city administrator Chris Ziegler. After the closed session, the council approved a three percent salary increase for Ziegler, retroactive to his anniversary date of Dec. 3.
In a separate motion, Ziegler was authorized to attend the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Conference. The CGMC conference will be held in Mankato from July 25-27.
Additionally, Ziegler’s membership to the Minnesota City/County Management Association was also approved by the City Council.