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Water rates to increase by 45 percent

Steven Guthrie, Creston Water Works general manager, presents information on the water rate increase, which the Creston City Water Works Board of Trustees passed during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.
Steven Guthrie, Creston Water Works general manager, presents information on the water rate increase, which the Creston City Water Works Board of Trustees passed during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

Creston residents can expect to pay 45 percent more for their water beginning March 1.

Steven Guthrie, water works general manager, presented information on the need for a rate increase during the Creston City Water Works Board of Trustees regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

In his presentation, Guthrie said the increase is needed to meet requirements by the DNR. Additionally, the increase will help the board create a reserve fund. Guthrie said water works is currently at “break-even status.”

“The average bill, as far as usage is concerned, is about 4,000 gallons for a citizen, for a household in Creston. So their bill goes from $23.89 to $34.67,” said Guthrie.

“I don’t think we have much choice,” said David Beck, board member.

This water rate increase, which does not include sewer or trash, was unanimously approved by the board. The resolution also includes an incremental increase for the following year and a plan to get rid of the “declining rate” discount.

Water rates were increased by 20 percent in 2018.

12-Mile Water Treatment Plant

During a closed session, the potential sale of the 12-Mile Water Treatment plant from Creston Water Works to SIRWA was discussed.

The board voted against the sale, but will continue to negotiate a more agreeable contract.

Repairs and maintenance

Austin Smith, engineer with Garden and Associates, presented information and potential costs for moving a strainer from before to after the clarification process, which is required by the DNR to keep the plant in compliance with the DNR.

The board approved preliminary design work on the project not to exceed $30,000.

Creston Water Works will be moving forward with replacing a drain line, which Guthrie shared a quote of $16,595 for the project, which he said is “extremely reasonable.”

According to Creston Water Works policy, Guthrie can proceed with this project without board approval because it’s less than $20,000.

“It is pretty important that we do the project because without that drain line we can’t clean our membranes. We can’t clean our membranes, we start having problems. We can’t produce water. Right now we’ve got a lot of water down in our basement. Some of it’s because of that pipe,” said Guthrie.

Guthrie also shared a backwash lagoon is shut off because it is “full of sludge.”

Currently, Creston Water Works is using 6 of the 8 available lagoons.

Guthrie said those will need to be cleaned out preferably in the spring or fall at the latest. The cost is approximately $27,000 per lagoon.

In other Creston Water Works business, the board:

• elected Dawn Loudon as chair and secretary, Dave Koets as vice chair, and Dave Beck as treasurer.

• approved turbidity resolution goals.

Water Works board meetings take place at 5:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Water Works Office located at 820 S. Park St.

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