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Nevis to address water, sewer rate increase

Nevis residents will likely see a bump in the water and sewer rates.

CPA Donald Zierke arrived at Monday's meeting to present the annual audit report, echoing a recommendation heard in prior years; raise rates.

The water fund saw a $26,626 operating loss in 2008 and the sewer fund had a loss of $40,795.

Although a "decent amount" still exists in the funds, he reminded the council grants for improvement and replacement no longer exist.

Upgrades will be financed via bonds, he told the councilors.

Council member Paul

Schroeder asked that the issue be addressed at the August meeting.

Residents currently pay a minimum monthly charge of $30 for water and $22.50 per quarter for sewer.

In other action, the council:

n Approved a liquor license for former municipal liquor store manager Kathy Plumley, who's in the process of purchasing Bullwinkle's on Highway 34.

n Reported a minus $12,460 net income at the liquor store in June. The report indicates Plumley's "manager salary" to be $18,208 in June, which ostensibly includes an approximate $17,000 severance package.

Net income year to date is minus $9,787, based on the year to date $2,674 net income reported in June.

But mayor Dave McCurnin indicated sales were up appreciably in the last few weeks, commending Cammy Johnson for her role as interim liquor store manager.

n Hired Mark Peterson as liquor store manager, at a salary of $34,500.

Peterson, a 1976 Park Rapids Area High School graduate, said he and his wife have a residence on Potato Lake.

He indicated he's exploring means to increase sales and turn the numbers around.

n Agreed to name the Frisbee/golf - frolf - park Pearson Park in honor of W.W. Pearson who donated the land to the city in the 1900s.

n Approved selling the Budweiser Chiller back to Big North distributors for $600. The city purchased the refrigeration unit for $876 last year.

"We tried it and it didn't work," Karl Dierkhising remarked.

n Was formally introduced to the Nevis Fire Department's restored 1996 tanker-pumper and the rescue ATV.

Fire chief Kerry Swenson arrived with the truck, which holds 1,500 gallons of water.

n Approved a lease agreement with the Volunteer Firepersons Relief Association for selling pull tabs and other gaming at the liquor store at $200 per month.

n Approved purchasing 2,300 gallons of propane LP (liquefied petroleum) gas from Gas Service at $1.29 per gallon. PPC, who submitted an identical bid, was granted the contract last year.

The city's cost of propane last winter was $2.20 per gallon.

n Reported an implement has been found to raise sinking headstones at the cemetery.

n Tabled action on a cat ordinance.

n Learned work continues on drafting an ordinance addressing ATVs in the city.

n Approved a variance request for the handicap access ramp and vestibule at the main entrance of the Nevis School. The project doesn't meet the 30-foot setback requirement.