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Jefferson may change water rates after customer complaints
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JEFFERSON — The city of Jefferson is considering updating its water rate structure again.

The city’s new water rates went into effect in January, but many residents didn’t notice until after a state watering ban was lifted in June, city officials say. Some residents began to notice higher water bills on the statements they received in September, when many complained to the city’s utility department.

During the Jefferson City Council’s work session Monday, public works director Jeff Killip presented the group with a proposed amendment to the city’s utility billing rates.

"We reviewed the rates and tier structure and also looked at the people who were rightfully complaining," Killip told the group.

"We noticed that in general, the people who were being penalized were the ones on sewer only who were using the water for irrigation purposes."

To accommodate those residents, Killip has proposed that the city suspend the "top tier for sewer only and put a cap" on water fees. The suspension would be lifted if the state officials imposed another water ban, Killip said.

No decision was made about the proposed changes, the council is expected to take action on the item during its voting session on Oct. 26.

During the meeting, the group also received an update on Local Option Sales Tax collections from Finance Director Amie Vaughan. August collections were up by around $10,000 from the previous month, according to Vaughan. For August, the city received $72,051.95. In July, LOST collections were $62,781.25.

Prior to the work session, the council held a public hearing and entertained public comment about the fiscal year 2010 proposed budget.

No public comments were made and City Manager John Ward reminded the council that there would be a special called meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Jefferson Civic Center on Kissam Street to possibly adopt the budget. The proposed budget does not include a millage rate increase.