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home : news : news Tuesday, November 21, 2017

12/19/2012 Email this articlePrint this article 
Charlotte city council discusses water rates, CAAC

Andy Leheny

The first reading of an ordinance to raise water rates and the scheduling of a public meeting to discuss the future of the community's activity center, were highlights of the Dec. 4 meeting of the Charlotte City Council.

The water rate ordinance increases the fee for the first 2,000 gallons of water from $17.18 to $27.18. For usage between 2,001 and 4,000 gallons, an extra fee of $3.47 per each 1,000 gallons will be charged.

For usage between 4,001 and 14,000 gallons, the fee will be $3.57 per each 1,000 gallons. The rate increases to $3.68 per 1,000 gallons between 14,001 and 34,000 gallons and is $3.78 additional per each subsequent 1,000 gallons.

The council has discussed additional increases likely will be necessary to fund water system improvements for the community, noting that other area communities charge higher rates than Charlotte.

The council set Wednesday, Jan. 2, as the date for a public hearing to discuss the future of the Charlotte Area Activity Center (CAAC). The hearing will be held at the center at 7 p.m.

At its December meeting, the council received a plan from resident Mike Jepsen suggesting a non-profit group be formed which could lease the CAAC and manage its events. Under the proposed lease agreement, the proposed not-for-profit group, to be called "Citizens for Charlotte," would accept the facility "as is" except for the city's commitment to keep the roof, exterior walls, foundation, sewer, plumbing, heating, wiring, air conditioning, plate glass windows and window glass, parking area, driveway and sidewalks in good repair.

The future of the CAAC became a public concern when the facility was closed Oct. 18, just prior to the operation of the community's annual haunted house at the center. The event is a major city event, raising thousands annually for the upkeep of the former school.

The CAAC was the subject of a surprise inspection by Charlotte's insurance provider after the firm was notified by a city employee of safety concerns at the site. The facility was closed until the concerns could be addressed.

At the November meeting, council members stressed they consistently have supported the activity center and would have addressed any safety concerns had they been brought to their attention. They committed to resolving the concerns so the CAAC can be reopened.

The lease proposal, and the progress in addressing insurance concerns, will be among the topics discussed at the Jan. 2 meeting.

Other business

In other business at its December meeting, the council:

•Was updated regarding electrical repairs at the CAAC and installation of a new door.

•Approved renting a dumpster for $350 to dispose of garbage after the CAAC is cleaned. The purchase of 17 smoke detectors for the CAAC also was approved.

•Learned 55 persons participated in the community's Halloween-theme run, the "Chainsaw 5K."

•Established a policy requiring any spending by a city employee to have prior approval.

•Was advised the new well is finished, and water testing results have been "good." The city is working with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to receive a permit to construct a new pump house, which will "blend" water from the new and old wells in order to acheive the expected result of reducing the radium level of the community's water to acceptable levels.

•Was notified the Clinton County sheriff's office provided 71.12 hours of direct service to Charlotte Oct. 26-Nov. 25. Eight calls were answered and three incidents handled.

•Received a complaint a memorial tree donated to the city was improperly maintained. Rather than receiving a "trimming," the letter complained the tree was cut to a degree where some limbs will not grow back. Although the complaint was initiated by the David Marlowe family, it also was signed by 20 individuals.

•Approved the expenditure of $280 to hang and remove Christmas decorations.

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