Hayden OKs water rate hike | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden OKs water rate hike

Additional revenue to help eliminate town water fund deficit

Jack Weinstein

— Not a single community member attended Thursday night’s Hayden Town Council meeting to speak during a public hearing about a possible water rate increase.

Council members also didn’t discuss the rate increase before approving the second reading of the water and sewer plant investment fees, water meter regulations and water base rate ordinance.

Monthly residential rates will increase by $3.05 to $19. Monthly senior rates will increase by $1.83 to $11.40.

The ordinance was approved, 5-0. Council members Bill Hayden and Jim Haskins did not attend the meeting.

Town Manager Russ Martin said the increase would generate an additional $25,000 to $30,000 to help close the gap in a fund that doesn’t make enough money to cover costs.

The ordinance also increased tap fees to $4,800 from $3,800 for water, and to $2,400 from $1,900 for sewer. The ordinance will go into effect 15 days after being published.

Recommended Stories For You

Martin said the rate and tap fee increases would help eliminate a $75,000 annual deficit in the town’s water fund.

Council member Tom Rogalski said a water rate increase, for a similar purpose, brought a large crowd to a meeting three or four years ago. He said once the need for the increase was explained, a loud group quickly fell silent.

He said he wasn’t surprised that no one showed up Thursday night but did admit that it was a bit odd, because some residents have been upset by past water rate increases.

Martin said he hoped the lack of attendance was a reflection of the educating Hayden had done to inform residents about the rate increase and why it was necessary.

He said that it’s one step the town is taking to mitigate the water fund shortfall and that he hopes it’s the only one.

But Martin said he hopes Hayden residents will understand if the town has to raise its rates again.

The ordinance also required that residents fix a broken water meter 60 days after receiving written notice. The town could shut off their water if that repair wasn’t made in 120 days.

In other action, the Town Council:

– Approved the winter parking and street obstructions and encroachments ordinance. It doesn’t allow parking on streets from midnight to 7 a.m. from November to April.

It also prohibits residents from shoveling snow or putting mud, dirt, debris, rubbish or filth into streets, unless allowed by law, the Town Council or town.

– Approved Phillip Davis as the new manager of Creekview Grill and its corporation as EPIC’s Inc. The manager and corporation had to be approved before the council members could approve the restaurant’s new liquor license.

To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203

or e-mail jweinstein@steamboatpilot.com