Hillsboro water may cost more
Hillsboro city council members approved a new contract Tuesday that drove up the cost of raw water that the city produces from Marion Lake by 30 cents per 1,000 gallons.
The price of treating lake water for blue-green algae, added to increased water cost, could result in a rate increase for Hillsboro residents.
City administrator Matt Stiles told council members treating water for problems caused by algae costs the city 83 cents per 1,000 gallons on average
“Unfortunately, this occurs during our high-use time,” Stiles said.
With the 30-cent increase in fees to Kansas Water Authority, Stiles recommended raising water rates $1.13 for 1,000 gallons used.
Water service now costs residential customers $29 per month and $4.92 per 1,000 gallons used.
Mayor Lou Thurston said the city might want to develop water conservation programs.
Council members did not vote to increase rates. They will consider a rate increase later.
Members Brent Driggers and Renee Gehring said they wanted the city to review water rates every year.
In other business, council members adopted a new policy for public comments at meetings.
The policy had been discussed at previous meetings and had a second reading Tuesday.
Under the policy, anyone who wants to speak on an agenda item must sign up with the city clerk before the start of the meeting. During the meeting, speakers will be called in the order in which they signed up.
Any documents a speaker wants to present must be provided to the city clerk by noon on meeting day.
Speakers have a five-minute time limit.
When all scheduled speakers are finished, other members of the public may speak after signing up at the speakers’ lectern and being recognized by the mayor.
Comments directed to individual council members as well as personal, slanderous, profane, obscene, or threatening remarks are not allowed. Debating with or making personal comments toward audience members also is not allowed.
If a speaker is ruled out of order, he or she could lose their privilege to speak.