Sewer rates to increase in Witt through 2023What will be changing in different phases through 2023 is the sewer rate. While the original $8 charge ($5.50 service fee plus $2.50) accounted for the first 1,000 gallons, it is drastically different than previously planned. While the service fee will remain as is, the sewer rate will incrementally increase through January 2023. Effective with the November bill due Nov. 15, the rate per 1,000 gallons is $5, making the bare minimum sewer billing $10.50. The minimum bill for water users is to be $28.06. However, that will be changing in January, as the rate increases to $6 per 1,000 gallons with an increase to $7 effective July 1. The final increase comes in January 2023 with a final per 1,000-gallon rate of $8. Overall, this will represent a 21.52% rate increase in sewer rates comparing the January 2023 rate compared to what residents paid in October prior to the ordinance, or roughly $5.50, barring any potential increases in the water rate in that time frame. Non-metered customers will be paying a flat minimum rate of $8, which allows for the 1,000-gallon maximum. If that threshold is surpassed, a meter installation may be required by the water superintendent. With several items relating to the ordinance, the council voted to approve.
Other water items approved, residents not paying billsAdditionally, the council voted to approve a bid of $9,572 from TeleScan Inc. for televised inspection of sewer mains. Work begins October 2 to go through 4,536 feet of 8-inch sewer main pipes. 26 households are not paying their water bills, totaling over $3,600. Notices will soon sent out for disconnection if not paid soon. There was discussion on switching locations of the current lift station pumps. One of the pumps is in need of replacement. The council approved the expense not to exceed $8,000.
Updates from Witt police and fire departmentsIn the absence of a police chief, there was no report. However, there are some final steps Dylan Joyce needs to take before taking over duties. It was mentioned that most of those things were in motion. A part-time officer in relief of the chief is also in the works. Fire chief Don Keiser presented a brief report that mostly comprised of ambulance reports.
Unfinished businessThe council discussed potential interest relating to the direct deposit of employee and aldermanic checks. No action was taken on the matter until it’s certain of the costs and who all has interest to begin with. A discussion on purchasing a box blade and landscape rake was had, as part of a drive to further clean up the ditches and other problem areas. Two quotes from different dealers were provided on both items. While the council would opt to acquire a 6-foot landscape rake for $614.99. The matter relating to the box blade was tabled until they can properly prepare for the spring. Another discussion was brought forth relating to a survey of a presumed city-owned property behind properties under ownership by John Taylor and Jim VanOstran for the purpose of digging a drainage ditch. The area is known to be a bothersome issue relating to stormwater drainage. The matter was approved, with a surveyor to be determined to tackle the job. Also approved was a bid for $1,800 to perform ditch work at Second and Raymon Streets.
Other businessOther business items during the meeting include:
- Closing Broadway Street for the Trunk or Treat on Halloween.
- Accepting the resignation of Eric Lentz for mowing services at the cemetery. The city will have to place an ad for bids for mowing in the 2022 season.
- Approval of resolutions for Witt Fire Department and the City of Witt to participate in the state and federal surplus property programs.
- A discussion of sending out a list of important ordinances to remember took place, but any potential action was tabled.
- The council will be seeking to return to Patton and Associates as their auditor, contingent on whether Patton will accept them back.
- Approval of a ditch cleaning at 678 N. Stuart, which also involves digging out, capping, and removal of two abandoned water pits at the location.
For more local news, follow Jake Leonard Heartland Newsfeed @HLNF_Bulletin on Twitter. Additionally, you can follow Heartland Newsfeed on Facebook and Reddit among other platforms. You can now follow our news updates on Telegram, Flote, and MeWe. Support independent journalism. Become a patron on Patreon for as little as $1 a month. There are other donor options as well.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.