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Sewer, water rates to rise in Nevis


Nevis residents will see an increase in sewer and water rates in July.

The council, after convening a workshop on the subject, agreed to raise sewer rates from $30 to $40 per month. Quarterly water rates will increase from $28 for the base of 10,000 gallons to $36, a $12 base rate per month.

The council also approved a recommendation from city administrator Carol Fridgen on overdue water bills. The city currently sends water shut-off notices by registered mail, which is expensive and gives the recipient right of refusal.

The final shut-off notice will now be sent via first class mail. If no response is received, “a red tag with all the pertinent information will be tied to the front door of the property as a warning of utility shut-off.”

In other action, the council:

n Clarified liquor store manager Lisa Kamrowksi’s ability to make charitable donations to area organizations.

Mayor Paul Schroeder said the issue was raised by liquor commissioner Heidi Schmeichel.

Kamrowski, who opted not to close the meeting for the discussion, said she was under the impression that because she was able to make purchases of $500 or less without council approval, she could also make charitable donations.

“The rule was not explained,” she said. “Everything I do is in the best interest of the city. The whole purpose is to generate money for the city,” Kamrowksi said of a municipal liquor store. She indicated she’d not been approached by Schmeichel on correcting the issue.

“The bottom line is you can’t,” Schroeder said. “You were not out to deceive the city, but the bottom line is, you can’t.”

“If I’d known the policy, I would have come to you,” Schmeichel said. She also questioned a donation to the C&C for bicycles in 2012.

Kamrowski said she’d been approached by the C&C and she agreed. “I thought I was supporting the community.”

“There should be a policy in place for orientation,” Tom Frank said of new employees.

Schroeder questioned how the donations are recorded. Kamrowski explained they are done as a paid-out in the off-sale register. The information, she said, is sent on a spreadsheet to Fridgen and daily packets.

The problem was discovered in April.

“I don’t think you were deceiving,” Schroeder said. “The simple fact is you can’t.”

“I’m not here to downgrade you,” Schmeichel said. “I wish I’d known sooner.”

The liquor store reported earnings of $6,010 in May.

Per council approval, the liquor store will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 7 for the Pig Races. The bar will be extended to the parking lot and Muskie Park for summer season events, per previous years’ practice.

n Heard from Barbara Deery, Uffda Days chair, that the organization will not be able to honor a previous commitment to paint steps at the beach. A trash can, however, will be donated by the organization.

n Approved opening the city office on Fridays. The office had been “manned” Fridays, but closed to the public to complete paperwork. Schroeder asked that the office be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The decision will not affect vacation.

n Approved a quote of $11,830 from Electric Pump in Bemidji for improvements to the city’s lift stations.

n Frank thanked the volunteers who put up and removed 165 flags at the cemetery for Memorial Day.