Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Another rate increase for Clay residents?

City Auditor thinks so...

J-E Editor
Clay City Council heard result of the annual city audit last Tuesday night. The results of which showed the city’s water and sewer operating at a loss of $101,500.

“With water and sewer, you’re in the same position every year,” said auditor Mike Overby. “I don’t know how you went about structuring the new rates, but it doesn’t look like it was good enough to me.”
Following the city audit in January of 2014, in which Overby told the city that a rate increase in water and sewer were necessary, the council deliberated in for several hours on how to structure new rates. The eventual outcome was an average increase of eight dollars per month.
It was the first rate increase to the city’s sewer and water in 15 years.
For cities, such as Clay, the only sources of income are utilities and taxes. Each year the cost of paying employees goes up, as does the cost of supplies used to maintain utilities and other city services. In order to keep up with increasing expenses, cities need to either raise taxes or increase their utility rates.
Overby cautioned the council that the county has already applied to the Public Service Commission. That rate increase will be passed along to the city, which would also necessitate a water rate increase.
While other areas of the audit showed better results, the loss in water and sewer remains a concern for the city.

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