The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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April 10, 2013

Council backs away from sewer rate increase


She also explained that the vote not to increase sewer rates will not be without consequence.

"We have a significant amount of money to cut and ultimately that's going to play into personnel decisions and we need to figure out how much that cut needs to be," Kinser said.

The other cuts include items in the city's long-term control plan, which the Iowa DNR and EPA have mandated that the city carry out in order to correct combined sewer overflow and other sewer-related issues. The city would need to talk with their attorneys and the DNR to see what projects could be affected. Beyond the long term control plan, not implementing increased sewer rates would result in personnel cuts.

Those cuts would be staff that is funded by the sewer fund, which includes people in the wastewater and sewer and utility billing departments.

Mayor Mark Vulich asked Kinser to identify cost-saving measures residents could make to handle their growing bill if the increase was moved forward.

"When you say the city would have to cut personnel, what will you tell people they will need to cut to pay the sewer increases?" Vulich asked Kinser.

Kinser said while she sympathized with the council's position, a decision had to made regarding the sewer increases.

"I will work with whatever decision you make, but ultimately we're at the time where we need to decide whether or not a rate increase will be done June 1," Kinser said.

Council members made their decision not to add to customer's sewer rates. Ward 3 Councilwoman Bev Hermann and Ward 1 Councilwoman Maggie Klaes were the only members to vote "yes" to move the increases forward.

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