Water rates in Moundsville could increase by 25 percent if City Council approves a proposal of the city water board for the higher rates.
During the last Moundsville City Council meeting City Manager Allen Hendershot told council the city water board is considering requesting the water rate increase. He said a proposed 35 percent increase was under consideration to bring the board back into compliance with bond requirements.
"Maintenance at the new plant is just higher than what was anticipated," he said. "It is all for operational costs. It's just to operate."
The matter was scheduled to be discussed further during Tuesday's finance committee meeting, however, water board attorneys were not able to attend the meeting and the matter was taken off the table.
Hendershot said, prior to the Tuesday meeting, the 35 percent rate increase was thought to be too high by members of council. After discussion, during the week, that proposed rate change was brought down to 25 percent. He said bond requirements state the city must collect at least 15 percent more than 100 percent of the debt to insure funds are available to make bond payments.
According to Hendershot, the city has not been in compliance with that requirement for several months, although he was not sure how much collections were under what is required. Bond payments, however, are not behind because they are being paid with reserve funds.
"This can not go on too long before those funds run out," he said.
In other matters, during the committee meeting, Hendershot listed possible areas where cuts could be made in the upcoming budget. He noted the sanitation department costs have gone up with fuel costs, maintenance and tipping fees.
Meanwhile, a price of $2,000 has been set for the purchase of the Knights of Pythias building which the city is considering buying for use by the police department. The purchase will be discussed at the next council meeting.
And City Attorney Thomas White explained options available to the city for collecting money owed to the city. Among them were garnishing wages, levying bank accounts, use of a collection agency and foreclosures.
"Our collection procedures on demolition properties, with liens on them, has been anything but pro-active," he said.
On an unrelated matter, Thomas Brown, vice president of Raze International Inc., admitted to those at the meeting little has been done at the former Fostoria Glass Company site recently.
"I want work to move faster, too," he said. "We will move as fast as possible as funds become available. Operating costs are ridiculous right now. I want it to move fast, too."
He said results of recent inspections have been positive and work will continue soon. He said the current schedule calls for the remaining smoke stacks to be brought down by Feb. 18.