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Residential water customers catch a break

by Dolores Hamilton
Monday night the Iowa Park City Council voted to decrease the base rate for water services for all municipal utility customers.
The base rate (first 1,000 gallons) for residential customers inside the city limits will change from $22 to $18.50 per month, and for residential customers outside the city the base rate will change from $44 to $37 per month.
In addition, rates were lowered for water picked up at the dock at the water plant.
The council had approved a rate decrease for the city’s wholesale water customers at its Aug. 27 meeting. They include the CIty of Electra, Wichita Valley Water Supply, Horseshoe Bend Estates, and the Iowa Park school district.
The new rates will go into effect with the October billing cycle.
An increase in fees charged for residential solid waste collection/disposal services was also approved. The fee for the first poly-cart will increase from $15.75 to $16.25 per month, and from $7 to $7.25 for each additional poly-cart. This rate change will also begin with the October billing cycle.
The burn ban in the city limits, enacted by the council at its Aug. 13 meeting, was rescinded. Wichita County had rescinded the burn ban for all unincorporated areas of the county last week.
As a result the council was able to grant the Iowa Park Athletic Booster Club a waiver of the city’s firework ordinance for a fireworks display on Friday, Sept. 28, following the homecoming football game.
At a previous meeting Chi Chi Price and Sally Harlow with Doorway to Gourmet were given permission to close a portion of the 100 block of West Park Ave. on Sept. 29 for a homecoming street dance.
At Monday’s meeting, a request by Price to install a stage in the median in the 100 block of West Park and close the sidewalk in front of her business and adjacent parking spaces at 109 W. Park to allow the sale and consumption of alcohol on Saturday, Sept. 29, was approved.
Price explained that Doorway to Gourmet has a mixed beverage permit for on premise. She would like to extend that onto the sidewalk where a tent canopy would be set up with restricted access. The only access into the tent would be through one of the doors of the business.
The second hearing was held for the city’s budget for fiscal year 2918/2019. City Manager Jerry Flemming said the General Fund operating budget has revenues and expenditures projected at $3,714,660, a decrease of $10,705 from the current year’s budget. The Utility Fund budget has revenues and expenditures of $3,605,280, a decrease of $239,270 from the current year’s budget.
There were no comments from the audience.
The second public hearing on the tax rate was held, and again there were no questions or comments from the audience. The proposed budget will require a tax rate of $0.7600 per $100 valuation, the same as last year. Because the effective tax rate is $0.7367, the existing rate is considered a tax increase even though projected revenues are less than the current year.
The budget and tax rate will be adopted at next Monday’s meeting of the city council.