2017-09-13 / News

Sandusky expected to raise rates

Sewer, water fees studied
BY ERIC LEVINE
810-452-2689 • elevine@mihomepaper.com

Sandusky residents could see a hike in water and sewer fees next year.

“They are expected to go up due to rising costs and returning to needed staffing levels,” city Manager Dave Faber told the News in an email last week.

Faber was responding to a question about the recently completed audit of city finances for the 2016-17 fiscal year that ended Feb. 28.

The audit, prepared by the certified public accounting firm of Yeo & Yeo, noted that the city is conducting a study of water and sewer rates and “rates will be increased accordingly.”

“The potential future increase has not been determined,” Faber said. “I believe the last rate increase was three years ago and it was at 2%. Many things have changed with the city from the last study over 7 years ago which showed a 2% increase every year with 2% population growth. We have only done the rate increase once.”

Faber said the city has been able to “hold off changes in rates” through staff adjustments, refinancing and a savings because he holds the licenses for the water systems.

Meanwhile, the audit report that mentioned the potential rate hikes was accepted by the city council last week.

The audit showed general fund revenues of $1.79 million and expenditures of $1.83 million, with an unassigned fund balance of $1.42 million compared to $1.5 million in 2015-16.

Sewer operations showed revenues of $1.22 million against expenditures of $1.43 million, while water operations ended with revenues of about $601,530 and expenditures of $480,170.

In other business last week, council approved a property swap with Ace Hardware involving the parking lot behind the business. The nearly even swap has the city giving Ace Hardware approximately 2,850 square feet on the east side of the building, allowing the business to square off the east property line and provide additional space for an outside display area. In exchange, Ace gives the city approximately 2,706 square feet on the southside of the building, which will provide for approximately eight additional parking spaces and better approaches to enter and exit the city parking lot.

Council approved the purchase of an Exmark E Series 60 Platform mower with mulch kit from Ball Equipment of Sandusky for $9,150. The city also received bids from Tri-County Equipment of Sandusky for a John Deer Z960M Commercial mower for $9,190.71, and a Spartan Mowers 61” for $9,395 from TrailSport Motors in Brown City.

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