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  • Kent Casson

City talks water rates

Nancy Todd addresses the council about the park restroom project during public comment.

It appears water rates will be increasing in Chenoa.

The Chenoa City Council has instructed city attorney Steve Mann to draft an ordinance which will likely be passed at the next regular council meeting. This includes a $4 water increase and 50 cent sewer increase the first year and a $2 water and 50 cent sewer increase the second year, which is for every 1,000 gallons. The third year begins the annual two percent increase which is effective in 2023 and each year thereafter.

Water and Sewer Commissioner Lee Reinhart said there were issues locating some of the leaks which the city has worked on for the past several months along with fixing hydrants.

“We found other places that need meters,” he said.

When the survey company came to town, Reinhart noted they were not able to find a significant loss of water the city had experienced. They recommended a three-year increase. Some cities already have increases in place through an ordinance each year.

“Why not try and plan for the future?” asked Mayor Chris Wilder. “It’s inevitable we have to start paying for our own infrastructure.”

Streets Commissioner Joseph Bell believes the city needs to get this over with after neglecting the issue for so long. Parks Commissioner Chad Daiker feels the income has to come from somewhere.

“The cost we have spent on that (water) plant is unbelievable,” added Reinhart.

Also during Tuesday’s regular council meeting, resident Nancy Todd appeared before the group expressing excitement about the new bathroom project starting at the city park. After speaking with local resources, Todd noted leveling of ground could start May 24 and the project may take three to six months to complete.

“I’ve talked to several people that are very willing to help,” Todd said.

Todd would like to see a project coordinator and one city council representative as a go-to person.

Kurt Rhoda also appeared before the group, requesting permission to place a concrete bench at Silliman Lake in memory of his father-in-law, Steve Kelleher. Council members seemed alright with this and will allow the project to proceed.

“It will be concrete underneath so there is no mowing or anything like that,” Rhoda explained.

Jason McNamara updated the council on tree planting which is planned for this Saturday in town. According to McNamara, 24 of 29 trees will be placed along Route 66 while three will be at the school and two at the city park.

“We have an auger rented to help out with the hardest part,” McNamara said.

A zoning board recommendation to change Cerda property from an industrial classification was approved. The owner has plans for the property, which were not revealed.

“It needed to be re-zoned commercial,” stated the mayor.

Council members authorized a TIF Redevelopment Agreement between the city and PuppyDo Transformations, LLC. Under this, the city agrees to reimburse the developer from TIF District 1 and to reimburse for renovation costs.

“We want to make sure they are still set up for success,” noted finance and insurance commissioner Kyle Buchanan.

PuppyDo Transformations is located in the former Chenoa Motor Company building along Route 24.

During commissioner comments, Daiker reported pool preparations are underway and they are hoping for a good summer season. Reinhart said citywide hydrant flushing has been completed and updated the council on a June 12 event he would like to hold from 7 p.m. to midnight which would involve blocking off the downtown street and using the gazebo.

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