City policy spells out policy on utility costs
Hillsboro City Council approved a policy Nov. 5, which establishes when fees will be imposed on utility users for new construction, upgrades, and improvements.
City administrator Larry Paine told the council a recent incident with a water customer was an example of the dilemma facing the city.
A property owner started a project without a permit then complained about the water flow not being sufficient to operate a sprinkler system. The customer wanted the city to replace the water tap and line to the water meter at the city’s expense.
Paine said, in a written memo to the council, if the city was to fund this type of a project, “we could literally open a flood gate of replacing hundreds of services throughout the city.”
Another point of discussion was new transformers.
In the past, the city did not charge for new electrical transformers for new construction.
One example was when Tabor College was charged for a transformer and wasn’t expecting the bill. Other inconsistencies were noted of some being charged and others not for transformers.
Mayor Delores Dalke said the college believed the installation of new lights at the football field and other improvements were new construction.
“We need to communicate the policy to people,” Dalke said. She agreed with the policy but doesn’t want the city to back and charge.
Councilman Bob Watson agreed with Dalke and said he did not want the city to go back and charge those who received free transformers for new construction.
The policy that was approved will require customers to pay for the replacement of a service line that no longer meets the requirements of the use at an address, and if a utility service line is found to be insufficient because of any work by the property owner or occupant.
The city will pay for the replacement of lines because of an act of nature or other non-construction damage.
The council agreed that the policy would become effective now and would not be retroactive.
In other business:
- Three employees were recognized for years of service. Glenda Stoppel received an award by the council for 25 years of service, Mike Duerksen 20 years, and Delores Dalke 10 continuous years of service. Dalke has served longer than 10 years but the League of Kansas Municipalities only recognizes those public employees for continuous service. She stated she has been in a public office for more than 20 years.
Last modified Nov. 12, 2008