Eagle Point to see water rate change

When Mayor Russell opened last Tuesday’s Eagle Point City Council meeting, he recognized four Boy Scouts and a scoutmaster in the audience, saying he always likes to see Scouts at events. Another audience member, Jerry Zieman, thanked the Council for the use of the Ashpole Center to host the D9 School District Candidates Forum. Mayor Russell commented, “Democracy at work.”

The Food & Friends Senior Nutrition Program delivered 11,441 meals to 218 clients, some at the Senior Center, others homebound. The volunteers who box and deliver those meals log in about 301 hours a month, according to Evelyn Krisella, Nutrition Program Director. She thanked the Council for its financial assistance to help make this happen.

Dan Petersen, District 3 Fire Chief, summarized his quarterly report. With the down-turned economy and a tight budget, the district works hard to streamline costs and target dollars for best use in personnel and equipment, thus better serving the community. When not on call (and calls are on the rise), employees train to do their jobs better. The Department sponsored 26 courses during this quarter, and the Training Department coordinated 583 courses covering 171 different topics—each member averaging 44 hours of training.

A good share of the evening’s discussion centered on water issues. By law, all public water systems with more than 300 connections must have a current water master plan. Eagle Point last crafted a plan in 2002 that is no longer current or viable. Garrett Pallo of Civil West Engineering Services used PowerPoint to highlight the updated plan. He showed the needs, prioritized the urgency of each item, and projected costs. He suggested ways to work with what we have, if possible, rather than replacements. Concerns about water supply go beyond household requirements. The city must also address what is called for when fighting a fire. Some needs include: additional pumps for Bellerive Pumping Station, a larger tank in one section of town, care for existing tanks (properly maintained, they have an 80-100 year life expectancy), and repair to some sections of pipe.

The Council and staff rehashed the unarguable need to raise rates. There are many ways to accomplish this, and the group agreed on what they felt would be the most fair all around. Although feeling anything but thrilled to do so, the Council passed a resolution that increases rates as follows: base rate of $4.00 per EDU (Equivalent Dwelling Unit) and consumption of $.30 per 1000 gallons.

The company offering a free video for Eagle Point’s website came to town, and City Administrator Henry Lawrence showed them around—from schools to athletic fields to the Mill to local parks, etc. The film crew gathered much footage, which they will reduce to a short video clip.

A budget hearing is scheduled for May 22 at 6:00, and the next Council meeting will be May 28, both meetings in Council Chambers.


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