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Council approves water rates, preliminary budget

By Staff | Aug 8, 2020

The Rugby City Council approved a 6 percent rate increase for water and sewer usage for residents at its regular meeting, held Monday, Aug. 3.

The increase was one of several financial matters reviewed by the council, which also approved a preliminary 2021 budget for the city.

City Auditor Jennifer Stewart answered council members’ questions about the water and sewer rate increases, which were described in City Resolution 2020-4.

“The $20 base rate (for water service) is not changing,” Steward said. “The charge per 1,000 gallons is going up 6 percent.”

“The sanitary sewer base rate would go up from $11 to $13. But the charge for 1,000 would remain at $1.50 per thousand,” Stewart said.

“The storm water projects, infrastructure maintenance and the flood control would remain at $3, unchanged, as well as the landfill surcharge, unchanged at $1.50, and the surcharge (for infrastructure repair and maintenance) would go from $4.64 up to $4.85 per month,” Stewart added.

Stewart said the fund was divided into three accounts, with $1.21 dedicated to infrastructure maintenance, $2.43 toward water treatment and supply capital improvement and $1.21 into sanitary sewer operations.

The board approved the resolution.

Stewart also presented the preliminary 2021 budget to the council and answered more questions.

Mills in the 2021 budget have a value of $8,004 each.

The amount levied for the 2021 general fund was placed at $711,900, or about 89 mills. The amount levied in the 2020 budget was $708,860, or 92 mills.

The budget added in a 6 mill levy, or $48,000 for public recreation, a 6.5 mill levy, or $52,000 for the Heart of America Public Library and 4 mills, or $32,016 for the Rugby Job Development Authority. The total amount levied for 2021 in the preliminary budget was $843,916.

The 2021 budget includes $4,916,684 in revenues and $4,983,455 in expenditures.

In other business, the board approved a budget amendment decreasing funds allotted to proposed construction on North Dakota Highway 3 in 2019 by $300,000 due to the fact the work has not begun yet.

The board also reviewed and approved a proposal by Jim Olson of Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services to upgrade the Rugby Armory. Olson told the council his firm’s proposal would include assistance with USDA grants for the project and make the building’s restrooms compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. Other improvements would include replacing windows and rotting frames.

The council heard presentations by committee members. Joel Berg of the city recreation committee updated the council on improvements needed for the city baseball diamonds and swimming pool. Dave Bednarz of the public works committee told the council the city hired a new water plant employee.

The board approved a first reading of City Ordinance 426, which changes the amount paid for service and goods subject to a bidding process from $150,000 to $200,000.

The board also approved a first reading of City Ordinance 427, which struck the entire portion of the ordinance, which had regulated taxi service in Rugby.

“It’s been decades since we had any taxis,” Steinke said.

The ordinance would not affect drivers for Uber or other private transportation companies.

The council also approved raffle permit applications for the Northern Lights Lions, Village Arts, Inc. and the Rugby Sports Boosters.

The council also approved Renaissance Zone applications from Brad Wangler and Derrick Welk for heated storage garages to improve property in the Sveum subdivision.

The council also approved a recreation committee request to transfer $9,443 to fund a drain tile project at the baseball diamond, as well as an application by June Creek Holdings for construction of a pole barn in the city’s extraterritorial zone.

Steinke also brought a proclamation before the council that would recognize Aug. 9 through 15 as American Wind Week to raise awareness about wind energy. The council approved the proclamation.

The council will next meet Thursday, Sept. 3, at 7:30 p.m.

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