Rate increase: GF council approves 5 percent bump for water, sewer

Friday, December 15, 2017

Water rates will be increasing for Green Forest residents next month.

The Green Forest City Council voted at its Tuesday meeting to approve Ordinance 660, which applies an increase of five cents per 1,000 gallons of water used to monthly water rates, on its second and third readings.

The ordinance states that this is an automatic rate adjustment because of an increase in wholesale water rates approved by the Carroll-Boone Water District. Green Forest’s water rate schedule is based in part on the current cost of purchasing wholesale water from the Carroll-Boone Water District, it says, so any increase in the wholesale water rate structure of Carroll-Boone shall result in an automatic rate adjustment to the city’s monthly water rate schedule.

The ordinance outlines the following new monthly water rates: a $15 minimum for the first 1,000 gallons used by residences inside or outside city limits; $3.21 per 1,000 gallons for the next 29,000 gallons used by residences inside city limits and $3.80 per 1,000 gallons for the next 29,000 gallons used by residences outside city limits; $2.84 per 1,000 gallons for the next 170,000 gallons used by residences inside city limits and $3.05 per 1,000 gallons for the next 170,000 gallons used by residences outside city limits; and $2.36 per 1,000 gallons for anything over 200,000 gallons used by residences inside city limits and $2.77 per 1,000 gallons for

anything over 200,000 gallons used by residences outside city limits.

For the North Extension Area and East Growth Area Phases 1, 2 and 3, the ordinance says monthly water rates shall be a $17.31 minimum for the first 1,000 gallons, $4.38 per 1,000 gallons for the next 29,000 gallons used, $3.05 per 1,000 gallons for the next 170,000 gallons used and $2.77 per 1,000 gallons for anything over 200,000 gallons.

For Tyson Foods and Unique Linen Services, the ordinance says monthly water rates shall be a $15 minimum for the first 1,000 gallons, $2.84 per 1,000 gallons for the next 29,000 gallons used and $2.36 per 1,000 gallons for everything over 200,000 gallons.

The ordinance says monthly sewer rates for residences shall be a minimum of $8.30 for the first 2,000 gallons and $2.85 per 1,000 gallons for anything over 2,000 gallons.

For Unique Linen Services, the ordinance says monthly sewer rates will be a minimum of $8.30 for the first 2,000 gallons and $3.37 per 1,000 gallons for anything over 2,000 gallons. For Tyson Foods, the ordinance says monthly sewer rates will be a minimum of $8.30 for the first 2,000 gallons and $3.32 per 1,000 gallons for anything over 2,000 gallons.

A standby charge equal to the minimum billing shall be charged if water is shut off at the meter, the ordinance says, but this charge does not apply to permanently vacated locations.

Mayor Charles Reece said this ordinance shall take effect and be in full force on Jan. 1, 2018.

“I figured it out on mine, and it would be about 60 to 70 more cents a month,” he said. “It’s not a huge increase, but we need to keep pace with what the Carroll-Boone Water District is charging us.”

The council later voted to transfer $15,000 from the General Fund to Local Police and Fire Retirement (LOPFI).

Reece said the Brew & Cue had requested the city to allow them to open on New Year’s Eve, which takes place on a Sunday this year.

“I have no problem with that, but I would limit the hours from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.,” he said. “Police Chief John Bailey has no big issue with that.”

Alderman Tim Hatman made a motion to approve the request, but it failed to get a second. The motion died on the table.

Reece announced that he has received a couple of commitments for funds for the city’s community center and will continue to seek out more resources.

“I’m getting a lot of requests for a community center,” he said. “Location would be the biggest thing in addition to the funds. Companies that are looking to move in look for things for their employees to be able to do locally. That’s a big deal for companies.”

Reece continued, “I think it’s essential for the future growth of the city and this area that we do have a community center. It doesn’t have to be the size of Berryville’s or Harrison’s, but we need to have something that’s adequate for the people.”

The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, at City Hall.

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