The Evarts City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance increasing the water rates during a meeting on Tuesday.
Mayor Eddie Manning called the meeting to order, and after approval of the financial report and the minutes of the previous meeting, City Clerk Kristi Lamb performed the first reading of the ordinance to raise the water rate.
“Whereas the city council of the city of Evarts is in the process of arranging to acquire certain funding for certain improvements and repairs to the water and sewer system, and whereas it is necessary in connection with the acquisition of said funding, the existing monthly water and sewer rates be increased and the existing water connection charges be reaffirmed,” Lamb read from the ordinance.
At the council’s regular meeting in May, Lamb pointed out the rate increase will total 10 percent and take place in small increments over the course of six years.
“The four percent we have to do,” said Lamb during the May meeting. “We have to have that KIA money and that’s what they want us to do…I’m proposing that ordinance reads an across the board increase every July for the next five years thereafter.”
Lamb pointed out the rate increase will raise rates inside the city for the first 2,000 gallons from $15 to $15.60. The rate would go to $15.76 in 2017, $15.92 in 2018, $16.08 in 2019, $16.24 in 2020 and $16.24 in 2021. Outside the city, after the initial 4 percent increase the rate will increase to $18.46 and will go up one percent each year topping out at $19.40.”
The city’s rate to the Black Mountain Utility District would increase to $2.60 and over the course of six years top out at $2.75, Lamb said.
The council approved the first reading of the ordinance with no opposition.
In other council activity, Police Chief Lupe Blas reported his department is in the process of hiring two new police officers.
“We took applications,” Blas said. “We used a three person panel to interview the applicants. We chose two candidates. One of them lives in the city, the other one lives around the Harlan area.”
Blas said both have completed phase one of preliminary testing. He also advised the council the rookies will have a long period of on-the-job training to complete.
“When they start working with us, we do not turn them loose on their own,” Blas said. “We’re going to be there with them…somewhere in the area of three to four months, that’s when they are pretty much doing things on their own and making their own decisions.”
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde.