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Lind Town Council discuss water, budgets

The Ritzville Adams County Journal of Ritzville, Washington

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During the recent Lind Town Council meeting held on Oct. 27, Mayor Jamie Schmunk brought forth several ideas for the council to decide upon.

The first being to create a resolution in order to give the citizens of Lind a break on their normal $ 1 or 1.87 percent increase on their water and sewer bill.

In order to bring this to fruition she proposed to raise the cost of the tank water from Well No. 6 by $1.

This would compensate for the $3,000 the town gains from raising the water cost for citizens.

The original ordinance was created to make up for the payments the town was behind on.

The normal cost for water from Well No. 6 is $7.50 for the first 1,000 gallons and then $0.40 per 100 gallons after.

After some discussion Councilperson Tom Strohmaier made a motion to create the resolution and Councilperson Karissa Labes seconded the motion and the motion carried with no one opposed.

The council next discussed a plan to raise the amount of water the citizens in Lind receive for their base pay.

Currently citizens pay $58.50 for 1,200 cubic feet of water, the Mayor put forth raising this amount to 1,400 cubic feet for the same price.

This would help to cut down on overage fees citizens have to pay.

Councilperson Karissa Labes made a motion to create this amendment and Kathy White seconded the motion. The motion carried with no opposition.

The third idea Mayor Schmunk presented to the council was the idea of creating a monthly fee for water and sewer lines to continue to be connected in unoccupied businesses and residential buildings.

The idea would be to charge a $20 fee for the water line to be hooked up in the home or business and $20 for the sewage line to be connected. These fees would be per month.

In the Town of Lind there is a base pay for the water provided and currently the owners of these buildings are not paying that amount.

The owner of the building has the option to have the water meter pulled and the sewage line plugged so they will not incur those fees. To have the lines reconnected it would be $500 for each line.

If the owner of the home or business were to not pay the fees a lein would potentially be placed on the building.

The Mayor suggested sending letters to each of the estimated 20 to 30 building owners who would be affected and providing an ample amount of time for the owners to decide whether they would like the lines disconnected.

With Kindra Haase not present at this meeting the council decided to table this discussion until all members were present.

The Mayor stated she would have the proper paperwork in hand for the next meeting in regards to the two new resolutions/amendments created for the council to sign.

The next scheduled council meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 10, and begin at 7 p.m. at which times they will discuss and make decisions on the two tabled budget items.

The Mayor first suggested transferring $10,000 from current expense to the water budget.

Her main reasoning is simply because of unforeseen expenses that occurred in the past year in regards to the Well No. 8 failure.

The deductable in order to have the well fixed totaled $10,000. Transferring this money would help to determine where the water fund should be set for the 2016 year.

The second monetary decision that became tabled until Nov. 10 would be in regards to transferring funds from the current expense fund to the airport budget.

The proposed amount is $4,000. The amount is based on the recent money collections the airport has accumulated for the town.

The runway for the airport was last repaved in 2006, it has been suggested to the town to begin crack sealing on the runway and eventually begin the overlay when needed.

It is common for grants in regards to airport projects to cover 95 percent of the total project cost and the town would then be responsible for the remaining five percent.

Transferring this money into the airport budget would help to ensure the funds are in the account when the Town is ready to begin these projects.

These two budget items along with the proposed utility fee ordinance will be decided upon at the Nov. 10 council meeting.

The public hearing for the Town's 2016 budget is scheduled for Nov. 24 prior to the council meeting.

Copyright 2015 The Ritzville Adams County Journal, Ritzville, Washington. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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