Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
By Margie Wuebker
Council considers increase in water rates for residents
New Bremen
  NEW BREMEN - Local residents may pay more for water next year as a result of action taken by village council members Tuesday night.
Council members heard first reading of an ordinance increasing rates by 15 percent.
Village administrator Wayne York said the increase is needed to boost the water department fund to cover possible unforeseen expenses. Expenses totaled $240,182 while revenue amounted to $240,095 during the past 10 months, he said.
The fund balance stands at $32,000, or enough to operate the water department for a period of 1.33 months. The rate hike would bring in an additional $2,000 monthly or $24,000 annually, York said.
"We've been cutting it close," York admitted. "There is not much of a cushion if pumps go bad."
The last rate hike occurred two years ago. A survey conducted prior to the action indicated local water rates were the lowest of comparable communities, York said.
Council members plan to hear second reading on the proposed hike at their Nov. 23 meeting.
In other action, councilors:
• Received an update on the status of the Elk Drive reconstruction project. Crews completed paving last week with sidewalk work to take an additional week. Another sidewalk project is under way at the lockkeeper's house.
• Observed a moment of silence in memory of retired New Bremen-German Township firefighter Fred Opperman, who died earlier in the week.
• Learned fines, fees and forfeitures in mayor's court totaled $877.70 for October.
• Reminded residents of the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at Lock One Park.
• Listened as the mayor thanked parks department personnel for their work in conjunction with Cider Time activities.
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