The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

April 24, 2013

Prior sewer rate decision reversed

Residents face a 9.5 percent hike after all

CLINTON — Clinton residents face a 9.5 percent sewer increase after all, Clinton City Council members decided following a discussion regarding the implications of keeping rates as they are.

Council members during their April 9 meeting rejected the rate increase 5-2, but following through with this decision could have major effects on the city, Interim City Administrator Jessica Kinser explained.

During the Clinton City Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday night, Kinser told council members that without at least a 9.5 percent increase, the city would not be able to pursue a $6.55 million state revolving fund loan. The city would be unable to pursue the loan because without the rate increase, it could not prove that it had the sufficient rates to meet the requirements of the state revolving fund.

Without the loan, the city would not be able to complete the 25th Avenue North pump station project under the timeline mandated by the city’s long-term control plan. The entire project is estimated to be about $7.5 million with the remaining $1 million coming from local option sales tax.

By delaying the project, the city would face anywhere from $300,000 to $1 million in fines from the EPA and Attorney General’s office. The city would also risk a $150,000 fine for severing the already approved contract with the project contractor.

Kinser said she and Jenny Blankenship, of Public Financial Management, have discussed other ways to pay for the pump station, including a general obligation bond. However, pursuing this kind of bond would bring the city beyond its established debt capacity.

Using the local option sales tax to fund the project entirely was also explored, but that option would further delay other items in the plan. This option would hurt the city later, Kinser explained.

“As I sit here with you tonight, I’m telling you that really the only way that we can get this done that does not mess up other plans that we’ve had is to move forward with that 9.5 percent rate increase in order to utilize the state revolving fund as the funding source for the 25th Avenue North project,” she said.

Text Only
Top News
  • The case for separate beds

    The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 17, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

    Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.

    The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy for years for potentially habitable places outside our solar system.

    April 17, 2014

  • Defend 'Obamacare' unabashedly, some Democrats say

    With enrollments higher than expected, and costs lower, some Democrats say it's time to stop hiding from the president's health care overhaul, even in this year's toughest Senate elections.

    Republicans practically dare Democrats to embrace "Obamacare," the GOP's favorite target in most congressional campaigns. Yet pro-Democratic activists in Alaska are doing just that, and a number of strategists elsewhere hope it will spread.

    April 17, 2014

  • Search for Chicago site for George Lucas museum

    As Yoda might say: A site for a museum you must find.

    Those are the marching orders Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving a dozen civic leaders as the city searches for a potential location for an interactive museum to house filmmaker George Lucas' collection of art and filmmaking memorabilia.

    April 17, 2014

  • Illinois unemployment drops to 5-year-low

    State officials say unemployment in Illinois dropped in March to 8.4 percent. That's its lowest level since 2009.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gaming commission rejects Cedar Rapids casino

    The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission rejected a proposed $164 million Cedar Rapids casino Thursday, saying it would hurt existing casinos.

    Supporters of the Cedar Crossing Casino development have said it would give an economic boost to Cedar Rapids and the region. They also argued it would be a catalyst for development in an area ravaged by a 2008 flood, create jobs and generate millions for tax revenue and charities.

    April 17, 2014

  • Iowa Senate race suddenly more competitive

    A catchy political ad and a gotcha video have raised Republican hopes of capturing the Senate seat in Iowa, a prospect that would greatly enhance the party's chances of regaining control of the Senate.

    Republicans are adding the seat, held for three decades by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, to their list of winnable races in the November midterm elections.

    April 17, 2014

  • Evacuation came too late for many on sinking ferry

    An immediate evacuation order was not issued for the ferry that sank off South Korea's southern coast, likely with scores of people trapped inside, because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to list amid confusion and chaos, a crew member said Thursday.

    Meanwhile, the coast guard said it was investigating whether the ferry's captain was one of the first ones off the sinking ship.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video