GROVETON — The Groveton City Council approved a modest increase in water rates at its regular meeting on Sept. 27.
Mayor Tommy Walton said council members approved a 6 percent increase, which will increase the average bill around $4.
City Accountant Jack Pashtag had petitioned the council for a 10 percent increase in water and sewer rates, saying the city has not had a rate increase in years, which was creating a funding problem for maintaining the city systems.
After some discussion, the council approved a 6 percent increase, but left room for another increase if after a few months the city needed more.
In a related matter, Walton presented information on converting the city systems to electronic water meters.
“Our old meters are not accurate and we have performed studies on a sampling of meters and realize that we have at least a 17 percent loss on the old meters under-reading,” he said. “The new meters will be more accurate and can even be monitored by apps on customer cell phones so they can get warnings if leaks are detected.”
Walton said other cities have installed the metering system, and he feels it is the way the city should go.
“It is not cheap but it should almost pay for itself in savings,” he said. “We are doing our due diligence before moving forward.”
The city also approved disclosure policies and procedures regarding the refinancing of the 2009 bonds. The city refinanced the bonds with a better interest rate, which save the city around $465,000 over the life of the bonds.
In other business, the city:
- signed required paperwork involving the purchase of the new fire engine for Groveton VFD;
- approved a resolution to use the money we are receiving from the American Rescue Plan to go toward the cleanup of our sewer plant. Groveton will see around $253,458 in total, but will receive half this year and half next year;
- approved a resolution and policy package relating to civil rights requirements for ARPA funds;
- discussed a request from Groveton EMS for an increase;
- approved hiring licensed inspectors to avoid liability issues;
- Adopted the Trinity County News-Standard as the newspaper record;
- Adopted Citizens State Bank as the city’s official bank depository
- Adopted a property tax rate of .9479 per $100 of valuation; and
- Adopted the FY 2021-22 budget of $1,482,000.