Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Fiscal Court hears from Henderson Water District

by Matt Hughes
J-E News Editor
The Webster County Fiscal Court was in session on Monday morning. Magistrates moved through a lengthy agenda rather quickly.
One item of discussion was Riden Road near Green Grove. The property owner near the end of the road has approached the road department about adding an additional quarter mile section of road to the snow plow route.
When the county paved Riden Road years ago there was a gate that blocked access beyond a certain point. Everything beyond that gate was designated private property, meaning that county maintenance ended at the gate. Since the gate has been removed and the current property owner has paid to have the remainder of the road paved.
“I think we could go back there and clear it if we get more snow,” said Judge Executive Jim Townsend. “Then we can get measurements to see about adding the road into our system.”
Magistrate Tony Felker said he would speak with the property owner. 
Up to this point everything that lies beyond where the gate once was has been private property. If the property owner agrees to have their drive added to the county road system, that would most likely mean that the drive would become a public road.
In other business, Pete Conrad, the superintendent of the Henderson County Water District (HCWD) came before the court to discuss an increase to tap on fees. HCWD provides water services to residents in extreme northern Webster County, near the Henderson County line.
The increase would move the tap-on, or new service, fee for the average resident from $475 to $650.
“We haven’t changed these rates in almost ten years,” said Conrad. “Currently we are charging $475 for new services, but it costs us way more than that to put the new service in.”
Conrad also told the board that he was appearing before them mostly as a courtesy. The Public Service Commission has required him to speak with the fiscal court in the largest area that HCWD serves, but he told the magistrates that he felt he needed to appear before everyone that they serve. He said the ratio of Henderson to Webster County customers is about 90 to 10.
The court voted to wait until Conrad appears before the Henderson County Fiscal Court before making a decision to accept his proposal.
Tracy Bracewell of Nature Chem met with the magistrates as well. He presented the court with a proposal to provide weed spraying services to the county. For $19,500 dollars Nature Chem will spray 100 miles of Webster County roads  on three occasions during the year.
Magistrates accepted the proposal. They will be driving roads in their districts during the next week to look for areas they feel need to be among those that Nature Chem sprays.
Finally, the Fiscal Court will hold it’s annual budget hearing at the community center in Dixon on Monday, March 24, 2014 starting at 9:00 a.m.

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