Council reviews water rate increase

Staff writer

Peabody City Council members heard a report Monday evening from Beth Warren of Ranson Financial Consultants LLC of Wichita about a rate study by her company to look at the feasibility of making the water utility financially sound as required by USDA, the agency that funded the water project.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Environmental Capacity Development Program funded the study at no cost to the city. The study looked at proposed water rate increases of 20 percent, 24.75 percent, and 27.25 percent and the financial affects on water users in Peabody.

The council took no action on the report. Members will review the proposals for discussion and possible action at the March 31 meeting.

After a five-minute executive session to discuss personnel, the council agreed to offer Jeremy Sears a position in public works.

At the Feb. 24 meeting, the council approved offering the job to Jonathan Richstatter, but he had found other employment.

The position is full-time and Sears will have a six-month probationary period with a three-month review.

In other business:

  • Jim Rippe of Peabody Planning and Zoning Committee reported that his group took no action on Mark Whitney’s request for a conditional use permit on a lot he owns on N. Pine St. Whitney wants to move a mobile home onto the lot, but the lot will have to be rezoned an R-3 to allow a mobile home. The planning and zoning committee returned the request to the council with no recommendation. The council ruled in Whitney’s favor 2 – 1, with on member abstaining.
  • The council received an insurance bid for the city’s coverage from Hilger Insurance of Harper, but is waiting on a bid from W.E. Avery Agency. City administrator Mac Manning said the council would have the additional bid at the March 31 meeting.
  • Council members approved a proposal from Kansas Clean Properties to sweep leaves, sand, and dirt from all of Peabody’s curbed streets for $27.50 a cubic yard, not to exceed $3,200. Manning hopes to get the company here the first week in May.

The next meeting of Peabody City Council will be at 7 p.m. March 31.

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