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Homeowners to receive water credit

Park Rapids is extending its water credit program due to extraordinary conditions this spring that caused many homeowners to have frozen water lines.

“At this time, we have 271 people signed up for the water credit created when the council encouraged homeowners to leave their water taps open to avoid freezing,” said city administrator John McKinney.

Property owners began signing up on Feb. 10 and the last one was April 3.

City staff has been discussing how to fairly give everyone credit because some people were signed up for a month and others might have been signed up for a week.

The recommendation was to base the water usage on last year’s usage amount. It would be the easiest and fairest way to take into account the variety of variables, McKinney said.

For example, if a property is hooked up to their neighbor to receive water, that user will be billed on last year’s amount. The neighbor who allowed them to hook up to their water supply will also be billed based on last year’s amount.

An explanation of how the credit was calculated will be sent to each affected property owner.

As of Tuesday, the cost to the city for running the extra water has totaled $12,718.82 based on usage of a steamer, supplies, chemicals and staff time.

Water pumping for March 2014 was 18,597,620 gallons compared to 10,787,264 gallons in 2013.

The council approved extending the program until all water lines are thawed.

About 50 lines were still frozen this week. The ground is still frozen although it has been warmer outside.

The city will move forward with the quarterly water billing using the credit formula.

“We’ve had great cooperation from people,” McKinney said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561