The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

February 19, 2013

Clinton sewer, solid waste bill increases proposed

Council hears proposal to raise sewer rates by 9.5 percent

CLINTON — Clinton residents face sewer and solid rate hikes that would cost the average residential customer an extra $10 a month as the city of Clinton works its way toward financial solvency for both services.  

The proposal to increase sewer rates by 9.5 percent, the solid waste flat fee for all residents to $10.95 per month and the solid waste service fee to $7.45 per month came before Clinton City Council members during their final budget session on Monday.

The information presented to council members also projected rates rising by another 9.5 percent in July 2014 and July 2015 as well as some smaller increases in the following years in order to bring the sewer fund to a financially solvent level by 2019.   

The sewer rate increase for this year would add $6.24 to an average residential customer’s bill, making the average bill $71.68 per month.

“I’d have to say the comment’s going to come ‘we can’t afford to flush the toilet anymore,’” Mayor Mark Vulich said.

However, according to Interim City Administrator and Finance Director Jessica Kinser, the city has initiated a number of steps that will hopefully improve the city’s poor collection rate of $6.30 for every $8.18 billed and counteract the need for future rate increases.

These steps include utilizing the income offset program that allows the city to reclaim unpaid bills. So far the city has been able to collect $18,000 to $20,000 of unpaid bills through the income offset program, Kinser said. Monthly billing has also been implemented to decrease delinquent bills.   

“I believe we have put things in place where we will see some results,” Kinser said. “Ultimately with those results, we’ll be sitting here in a year looking at what increase we need, if any.”

For right now, Kinser said the city should plan to discuss the 9.5 increase in April in order for it to take effect on June 1.  

“Right now we’re still in that phase where we’ve taken action on some things, but the results from those actions are a little bit slow to see,” Kinser said.  

Council members also discussed an increase to both the flat fee for solid waste that affects all residents and the flat fee that affects those who utilize the city’s solid waste service. The fee suggestions come as a result of solid waste study performed by public sector advisor Springsted.  

“This is not new. Ultimately, we can’t go back,” Kinser said. “The trend that should have been noted was that it was on the decline. That we were getting into negative annual income each year. And that’s pretty much where we got to how we are today. But knowing that’s where we are, now is where we have to figure out how to correct.”

The rate increases are needed to create positive income and pay off previous expenditures. Between operations and equipment the solid waste fund is more than $2 million in the red. Fee increases are expected to bring the operations fund to a positive balance by 2019.  

With the monthly $1.70 increase for the all resident flat fee for recycling, yard waste, large item pickup and the per capita fee for the Clinton County Solid Waste Agency and the monthly $2.20 increase for the solid waste service, the total charge for a solid waste customer would be $220.80 annually. These increases are also projected to hit customer’s bills by June 1, although Kinser said the actual date would be up to council discretion.  

“This is not going to get to be any better of a financial situation between now and July 1 if there’s not a rate increase done,” Kinser said.

At-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf asked if  outsourcing solid waste services would be a viable option for the city.  

“If that’s the direction of the council that this is a service that we cannot provide at rates that are sustainable to the community, then I would say that is definitely something to look at,” Kinser said.

However, that discussion had to wait until council members meet with representative of Springsted, when the full solid waste study is presented at the next council meeting. The council did not vote on any of the rate increases.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Northeast 1 Work continues on STEM wing (with VIDEOS)

    GOOSE LAKE — Rising out of the school grounds, the construction of a new athletic center and science wing continues at Northeast Middle/High School in Goose Lake.School administration and the board of education toured the construction site Thursday n

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Second arbitration filing

    AFSCME union is the second this summer to file for arbitration against Clinton.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fire causes Vitale's closure

    Vitale's restaurant closed this afternoon, according to the business's Facebook page, citing a small fire for the cause of the closing.

    July 21, 2014

  • kyle.jpg Voices lifted for Habitat (with VIDEOS)

    CLINTON — Members of the community came out in droves Sunday afternoon to attend a Concert for a Cause, a first-time event benefiting Habitat of Humanity of Clinton County.More than 70 voices joined together in the Vernon Cook Theater for the CHS Alu

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos

  • GM looks to combat decreasing revenue CLINTON — The new general manager of the Clinton Wild Rose Casino and Resort hopes to utilize programs and giveaways to counteract decreasing revenue.During the Clinton County Development Association meeting last week, General Manager Travis Dvorak r

    July 21, 2014

  • Talent Show secondary art Two move on to State Fair DEWITT — Want a free bid to the Iowa State Fair? A few girls in the Clinton County Fair’s Bill Riley Talent Show figured out that one way to punch that ticket is to get on the stage.Participants age 7 to 16 did so on Sunday, showcasing their gymnasti

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Eight dead people still registered to vote

    CLINTON — The Iowa Secretary of State’s office found that 1,234 presumed dead people are still registered to vote in Iowa, including eight in Clinton County.The state uncovered the names by cross referencing with the Social Security Death Index. The

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • Kinser salary increase on the agenda

    CLINTON -- Seven months into the new term, the Clinton City Council has avoided closed session. Tuesday’s regular meeting, however, features two topics that likely will move into a closed meeting.First, city leaders will discuss “pending or imminent

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • Clinton woman suffers gunshot wound

    A woman suffered a gunshot wound today in Clinton.

    July 20, 2014

  • Academy encourages informed citizens CLINTON — The city of Clinton is encouraging citizens to pay more mind of their local government. Through the city’s inaugural Citizen’s Academy, Clinton’s leaders hope to give people a better understanding of how the city works.City clerk Pat Van Lo

    July 19, 2014

Facebook
Clinton
Camanche

Fulton
Clinton Herald photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.