The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published September 25, 2019

Water, sewer rates will increase for Camdenton


CAMDENTON – City residents will be seeing an increase in the water and sewer rates. The city stated that the last increase was in June of 2017.

In a report to the Board of Aldermen last week, it was said that after reviewing and analyzing the city’s current rates, the ending Water and Sewer Fund balances noted a deficit.

To correct that, rates for both are being adjusted.

Current water rates are:

$11.00 for the first 2,000 gallons of water used plus $3.25 for every 1,000 gallons thereafter.

The increased rates will be $11.25 ($0.25 increase) for the first 2,000 gallons of water used plus $3.45 ($0.20 increase) for every 1,000 gallons thereafter.

There will also be a slight increase in the sewer rates.

Current sewer rates are $9.00 - Base rate (based on water usage) plus $2.18 for every 1,000 gallons of water used.

The new sewer rates will be $9.00 for the base rate (no increase) plus $2.30 ($0.12 increase) for every 1,000 gallons of water used.

“These base rates would raise the average monthly bill of 5,000 gallons to $42.67 or result in an increase for the average customer of $1.46 or a 4% monthly increase,” the city report said.

A public hearing was held at the beginning of last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting with no one present to speak for or against the increase.

The board approved both readings of the new rates.

In other business at last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting:

• Approved the second reading adopting the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 operating budget
• Approved both readings for a contract Central Bank of Lake of the Ozarks for city banking services
• Approved both reading for a agreement with Enterprise FM Trust for Fleet Management and Fleet Maintenance Services

The city had been researching the possibility of entering into an agreement for a lease-purchase arrangement for city vehicles with the idea of save money in the long run.

“While we have attempted in the past to keep up with our fleet and have invested approximately $250,000 a year to make this happen, 39% of our current light and medium duty fleet is over 10 years old,” the report to the board stated.

City staff estimated that it would take almost 14 years to cycle out the entire city fleet at current acquisition rates.

The deal with Enterprise is an open-end lease as a funding mechanism and should allow the city to acquire additional vehicles while at the same time, avoid their past annual large capital outlays.

The proposal will replace aged vehicles with newer models and the city is hoping the deal will increase fuel efficiency and reduce maintenance expense.

“By partnering with Enterprise Fleet Management, it is estimated that the City of Camdenton will reduce fuel costs by 26%,” the written report to the board said. “The City of Camdenton will also reduce our maintenance costs, maximize our cash flow, and recognize equity from vehicles sold.”

• Approved both readings amending the city code in regards to nuisances.

The changes will update a lot of the terms used in the old language and will also allow the city to address weeds and uncut lawns.

The changes were explained in the report to the board by City Administrator Jeff Hancock and City Attorney Phil Morgan.

“Attorney Nathan Nickolaus advised as to some changes regarding hearings and the city doing the work to clean up grass and weeds if necessary (and the required process to do this). We have never done this, but it is routinely done by cities when owners refuse.

“Obviously, we will do everything possible to require owners to do the work and cite them in city court when possible to try to get them to mow and clean up. However, this will give us another tool. Much of the other language was somewhat antiquated (references to buggys, hackneys, etc) that needed some fixing.”

• Approved both readings of a contract with Lake Ozark Water & Sewer LLC to Act as the Backup Operator of the Camdenton Public Water System

“MoDNR has told the City over nine years ago that we must have a back-up water system operator” said Public Works Director Bill Jeffries. “The operator position requires certification from MoDNR. I am currently the only person in the City certified. I contacted McDuffey Lab to inquire about their services should the need arise, and they submitted this contract with costs.”

Lake Ozark Water & Sewer will be paid $50 per month just to retain their services and this will provide a certified operator to be on-call should the city need someone in an emergency and Jeffries is not available.

If the certified operator is called out the city will pay them $85 per hour. This contract can be terminated anytime with a 30-day notice.

The city also held a brief discussion on eliminating the city court system. It was said at the meeting that new state rules are beginning to make it harder for cities to have their own courts and many are opting to turn the process over to county courts.

The board will make a decision on this at a future meeting.

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