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Water rates could rise by 3%

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

An increase in water rates may be coming to Platte City residents.

The Platte City Public Works subcommittee recommended forwarding the increase in water rates to the full board of aldermen for a vote next Tuesday.

Rates could be increasing by nearly three percent beginning May 12.

According to Jason Metten, city administrator, the increase is necessitated because of a rate hike from the Kansas City Water Department. Platte City purchases water from Kansas City.

Kansas City is increasing the rate being charged to Platte City by 9.12 percent. Metten said that previous city administrator Keith Moody had anticipated an increase of 5 percent in the prices for 2009.

The increases to water rates will be $0.15 for customers inside Platte City and an increase of $0.19 for customers outside of the city.

The rate for the first 1,000 gallons of water used by customers will be increasing from $5.70 to $5.85. The rate for additional 1,000 gallons during the month will increase from $5.20 to $5.35.

The rate for customers outside the city will increase from $8.21 to $8.42 for the first 1,000 gallons. Additional gallons will increase from $6.37 to $6.56 per 1,000 gallons.

The average household uses between 4,000 and 6,000 gallons per month. The average cost per month for a house in the city limits using 5,000 gallons would be $27.25, up from $26.50.

Andy Stanton, board member, said he wanted to stress that the increase was because of the increase being passed by Kansas City.

Metten said he had planned to just absorb the cost of the increase until the end of the year, but the city codes say the water department has to cover their costs.

The rate increase would start when the mayor signs the ordinance, if the board of aldermen approves the increase at the meeting on Tuesday, May 12.

The subcommittee also will recommend to the board that the city sign a resolution to be sent to the county in support of getting all of Platte County within the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Metropolitan Planning Boundary.

The boundary would designate Platte City as being able to receive funds through MARC for road projects. Platte City and other Platte County cities north of the Interstate 435 loop were not eligible to receive stimulus money being distributed through MARC.

Metten said the city is currently a member of MARC, but is designated as being in a rural area and being included in the boundary would put it within the urban designation.

The county would still have to petition MARC to include the northern portion of the county in the boundary before MARC would take action.

Weston has already sent a petition to the county in support of being included in the boundary.

The committee also will recommend joining a bulk salt contract for purchasing salt for treating roads during the winter. The bid through MARC would be to purchase salt from Cargill at a price of $61.78 per ton.

Leonard Hendricks, public works director, said the city purchased salt last year for $68 per ton when MARC did not offer a contract bid.

The previous contract bid was through Cargill in 2007 and was for a price of $39.07 per ton.

The board of aldermen will consider the items the subcommittee discussed on Tuesday, May 12.



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