Twin Bridges raises water & sewer rates
Twin Bridges Town Council approved two resolutions during last Tuesday's meeting to raise the town's water and sewer rates. The increases are necessary to balance the town's water and sewer accounts and build up a reserve fund for future repairs.
The base water rate for customers with a three-quarter-inch supply line will increase from $28.50 to $31 on July 1, and increase 2 percent for four years thereafter. After the final 2 percent increase in July 2022, the base water rate will be $33.56. In addition to the base rate, customers will pay 75 cents for every 1,000 gallons consumed or a proportionate charge for gallons of water consumed in excess of any 1,000 gallon increment.
The base rate for town sewer customers with a three-quarter-inch water supply line will increase from $36.59 to $46.89 on July 1 and increase by 2 percent every year for four years thereafter. After the final 2 percent increase in July 2022, the base sewer rate will be $50.76.
Following public comments opposed to an increase in the sump pump charge from $5 to $10, council deleted the sump pump charge increase from the resolution.
During his report to council, Sheriff Roger Thompson said thefts and burglaries in the area had "dropped off to nothing" since the arrest of two individuals suspected of burglarizing a Twin Bridges storage unit. Thompson praised the efforts of two Twin Bridges men who helped apprehend the suspects after observing suspicious activity at the storage unit business. "I love it when the public gets involved," said the sheriff. "That's how things get resolved and things get taken care of. They did an excellent job. I really applaud when people really want to get involved and do something....There is a risk that private citizens take, but I'm really glad there are people out there who are willing to take that risk."
The sheriff reported a counterfeit bill had been passed at Three Rivers Quick Stop. "This comes up about every six months to a year with someone pushing counterfeit money," said Thompson. "It's been going on for several years, so this is the next round of counterfeit money that's being circulated. You could have a counterfeit bill in your pocket now and eventually you pass it and someone will eventually notice it."
During the library report, board member Silvia Schwartz said the library is planning to convert a back room into a multipurpose meeting room with a rustic western style. Schwartz said the library would not be requesting money from council for the project.
Mayor Tom Hyndman reported Great West Engineering has been selected as the design engineer for the Sixth Avenue stormwater and sidewalk project. The mayor said council members would meet with school officials on May 11 to discuss the project.
Maintenance supervisor Sam Novich reported a pump shaft at a lift station broke and insurance will not cover the cost. Novich said a rebuilt pump could be purchased at a cost of $3,057, but would carry just a 90-day warranty. The supervisor said a new pump would cost $4,600 and have a much longer warranty. Council voted 4-0 to direct Novich to purchase a new pump.
Novich gave an estimate of $266,765 for construction of a new town shop building. The supervisor said the project could be completed in phases as funds become available.
In other business, council:
• Approved a resolution designating eight locations in town for posting public notices.
• Approved a resolution allowing elected town officials and contracted public officers to participate in the employee benefits program.
• Approved a commitment of $5,000 as matching funds for a $5,000 Treasure State Endowment Program grant to update the town's capital improvement plan.
• Approved a yield sign option for traffic control at the intersection of N. Senator Street and E. 9th Avenue.
• Approved a preliminary plan for a new water line to the county fairground, to be submitted to the Department of Environmental Quality for approval.
• Approved having a memorandum of understanding in place between the town and county for maintenance of the new fairground water line before construction begins.