FD OK’s water bill hike

A 1.5 percent increase in water rates received the final approval of the Fort Dodge City Council Monday.

The increase goes into effect on July 1.

A customer who uses 2,000 gallons of water a month will pay $12.21 when the increase goes into effect. In 2015, that number will rise to $12.40 per month. In 2016, it will be $12.58 while in 2017 it will be $12.77.

The rate hike won final approval on a 4-2 vote. Councilmen Kim Alstott. Andy Fritz, Jeffrey Halter and Terry Moehnke voted yes. Councilmen Dean Hill and Don Wilson voted no. Councilman Dave Flattery was absent.

Also on Monday, the council rejected, on a rare 3-3 vote, a plan to raise the fee charged for handling requests to vacate public rights of way.

That fee is now $50. The city staff had proposed raising it to $200.

”We thought we were picking something that wasn’t too outlandish, but would start to cover the costs of doing this work,” said Chad Schaeffer, the director of engineering, business affairs and community growth.

Hill, Moehnke and Wilson voted against the proposal. Alstott, Fritz and Halter voted for it. Flattery was absent.

Most Fort Dodge residents never have to deal with the process of vacating public rights of way. The most prominent recent example of that process occurred when Foutch Brothers LLC, of Kansas City, Mo., successfully requested the vacation of Fourth Avenue North on the south side of the former Phillips Middle School that the firm plans to convert to apartments.

In other business Monday, the council:

  • Transferred city-owned property near 10th Avenue North and 16th Street to Matthew and Angela Tracy and paid them $23,281 for a garage that must be demolished to make way for a street and sanitary sewer project.
  • Hired Master Blasters Inc., of Fort Dodge, to sandblast and paint 19 light posts on the City Square at a cost of $25,650.
  • Gave final approval to a measure that will allow the use of tax increment financing to support the construction of an archery range at Iowa Outdoors Store, 1597 Third Ave. N.W. The council set aside usual procedure and granted final approval on the second reading of the measure instead of the third reading.