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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Freistatt trustees adopt higher water rates

Monday, January 7, 2013

Trustees for the Village of Freistatt voted to raise the base rate for water by $3 during the December meeting, effective in January.

Following a work session on the budget for 2013, trustees announced the water system managed a $845 profit in 2012. In 2013, the system would run a deficit at the same rates.

Three sources appear to be driving water expenses. Trustees cited rising maintenance costs, higher utility bills and costs related to meeting changing requirements by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Under terms of the village's loan for upgrading the water system under the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development program, the annual budget must be approved by Rural Development.

Deficits are not acceptable. Trustees determined an increase in the base rate would offer the fairest solution. Rates for the use of additional water in 1,000-gallon increments remained unchanged.

Three base rate changes were considered. According to City Clerk Deborah Schoen, trustees selected the $3 increase that will hopefully prevent another hike in a year.

Trustees voted to increase the charge for renting the Freistatt Community Building for an event. The cost was increased by $25, putting the new charge at $75, plus the refundable $50 cleaning deposit.

Increasing costs of gas for heating and cooling were cited as the primary reason for the rate change. Trustees agreed to limit the number of visits renters can take in preparing for an event. They agreed to place $65 of the rental fee into the general fund to cover utilities. The remaining $10 will go into the water fund.

Resolutions putting both rate changes in place were passed.

A budget for 2013 was adopted. Total anticipated income is $77,736. No major additional expenses were expected.

In other business, trustees authorized Schoen to adjust the 2012 budget to actual spending once the final income and spending totals from December were completed.

In department reports, water operator Alan Obermann reported city wells produced 351,200 gallons in November. Water use was up 40,000 gallons from October. All but nearly 13 percent of the water reached a city meter.

Schoen reported customers spent $40.89 in late fees for the month.

DNR sent the village a letter stating a quarterly report failed to arrive. Sewer operator Donald Robertson has a stamped copy of the report, showing proof of receive. He planned to discuss the matter with DNR officials on his next trip to Springfield.

The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10, 2013.

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