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Sturgis Council passes several resolutions dealing with water projects and rates

STURGIS, S.D. – The Sturgis City Council last night passed several resolutions concerning water projects and water rates.

One resolution approves water system improvements and creates special funds and accounts to help pay for them.

A recent study showed two city wells had exceeded their life expectancy and were experiencing reduced effectiveness. In addition, the study showed a need for additional water storage and water main looping in portions of the water system.

The improvements approved by council will ensure safe, reliable water delivery to the community. To help pay for the enhancements, the city applied for funding through the State Revolving Loan Fund. The city was successful in its application and received a grant of $750,000 and a $4.1 million dollar, 30-year fixed loan at 1.625-percent.

However, in order to receive this grant and loan, the city is required to establish a surcharge which will raise 110% of the annual revenue required to make the annual payments on the loan.

That is where the next two resolutions come in.

One resolution establishes a new water surcharge of $4.55 per month. A subsequent resolution passed will reduce that monthly base by the same amount. Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says that will result in a net zero change for water utility customers beginning in January of 2023.

 

A fourth resolution passed Monday night updates the city’s water and sewer availability fees to reflect inflation and the steady increase in infrastructure maintenance and operating costs.

Availability fees cover those users who have their water turned off for a portion of the year but remain connected to the City water and sewer system. Currently, those fees are $18.00. The council’s approved resolution sets the fee at 100% of the sewer base rate – which is $43.92 for residential and $49.71 for commercial.

City officials say the current fee of $18.00 placed more of a burden on the everyday user to pay for the infrastructure costs.

The council on Monday night also passed a resolution that adopts the 2022-2023 City Council goals, of which the water projects were part of.

You can hear our interview with Council President Kevin Forrester on this topic and others from Monday night’s meeting ‘On Demand’ here: https://www.kbhbradio.com/on-demand

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Stu Whitney / South Dakota News Watch

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