Council approves water increase

Customers will pay more in order to trim operating cost deficit

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BY JEFF SWANSON
Daily Press writer
Water customers in Craig will see a small increase in the cost of water use, after the Craig City Council approved an ordinance that will increase wastewater rates for the upcoming year.
Ordinance 907, which was passed by the Council Tuesday night, will increase residential water rates to reflect the increase in operating costs for the city's water department, according to the 2001 City Budget.
In-city customers will see a 60-cent jump in monthly service rates, increasing from $14.20 to $14.80.
A 6-cent increase for every 1,000 gallons of water used will also be added to the bills.
That cost would increase from $1.50 per 1,000 gallons of water to $1.56 per 1,000 gallons.
The average residential customer in Craig uses 10,000 gallons of water a month, according to Water Department Director Bill Earley.
"This is going to reflect the increase in the cost of operations that we have seen since the last increase in 1998," City Manager Jim Ferree said. "We feel that this increase is a fair, and necessary one to help us get closer to balancing the water department budget."
Ferree said that he expects the increase to take 60 days before becoming effective.
The Council also heard from Dan Birch of the Colorado River Water Conservation District about an Intergovernmental Agreement between the city and the district.
The agreement would help in the expansion of Elkhead Reservoir by expediting the closing process of water right permits needed.
The Council also approved a bid to lease two used 2001 Ford Explorers to replace two vehicles that leases are expiring on.
In a Craig Police Department memorandum, Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta stated that SUVs best meet the needs of the officers' assignments.
"An SUV is much easier to store equipment in, as well as transporting evidence and getting around in the winter. We have experienced some investigative storage problems with small sedans," he stated. "As a budget alternative, we also asked for bids on mid-sized cars, but there is only a $375 difference between a car and the SUV."
The Council also:
Passed Resolution No. 1 designating a public place for posting notice of any meeting as required under the open meetings law. The place designated for the posting of these notices will be on the bulletin board between the inner and outer doors of the west entrance to City Hall, located at 300 W. 4th St.
Approved an out-of-city water use agreement for Ronald and Linda Davis for Lot 2, Country Meadows Minor Subdivision and Robert J. and Shelli K. Shevling for Lot 3, Country Meadows Minor Subdivision.
Held a brief discussion on the 'Welcome to Craig' signs. Mayor Dave DeRose informed the Council about a new material signs are constructed of called lusterboard. It is made from one-half to three-quarters inch thick plywood and banded aluminum. The lusterboard is guaranteed to last 10-12 years, and has a graffiti-proof exterior.

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