«Present: Councilman Dwight Clark, Chair Councilman Dave Tadych Councilman Tom Henderson Also Present: Mayor Sutherland, Finance Director Mahoney, Law ...»
Ordinances that will be placed on reading will be the allocation of municipal income tax revenues and increase of the ambulance reimbursement fees.
Sewer Fees The last three quarters of 2014 were amended to $90.00 per quarter. That would go down to a lower amount at the end of 2014. The thought was whether we continue at the $90.00 per quarter, effectively making the sewer rental fee $360.00 per year per resident household. Of that, the $25.00 difference would go toward seeding a Capital Sewer Fund which we have talked about for some time. We must do something soon because the next sewer bill mailing is January 1, 2015.
Mr. Henderson stated that his understanding is the sewer fee we charge our residents is due to the cost of the services we receive from the Rocky River Wastewater Treatment Plant (RRWTP).
He asked if we were to keep the $25.00 additional cost as a capital item, what are the thoughts about delineating it as a line item on the bills, to see the actual cost of the operations of the RRWTP directly subsidized as a capital improvements fee, the same way as we have a separate line item for the trash component on the bill.
Mayor Sutherland stated that Rocky River does something similar. It is the recommendation of the administration that the fee be kept at $90.00 per quarter. It was passed that way; the original intention was that would be the new sewer fee. We are going to continue to have sewer projects that we are going to have to fund and we either fund it that way or we go to some type of assessment process. We are all equal owners in the system and it will help us with the EPA.
Minutes of a Meeting of Finance Committee November 3, 2014 They actually look at expenditures per household, and right now we are way below what they would recommend for sewer charges. They look at all the data from across the country. Once we get these overflows done there will be some other recommendation that we will have to deal with. It is a wise fiscal policy for the City to set up this type of fund that we can rely on.
Mr. Tadych asked if the bill would reflect $6.25 on each quarterly bill for capital improvements.
Mrs. Mahoney stated that people have been paying $102.00 now, and we will be telling them they are going to pay less? Mr. Tadych stated that we have been telling them they will pay less.
In the past we talked about the fact that it would level itself this coming year. Mr. Henderson expressed agreement with Mr. Tadych, noting that his recollection at the Town Hall meeting was that the increase was for three quarters and it would sunset this year.
Mr. Clark stated that we have talked about a capital sewer charge for a couple of years. Rocky River charges $25 per quarter, $100 a year. He asked if we could find out if other communities charge for capital sewer charges. Mr. Clark stated he does not recall ever assessing for sewer projects. Mayor Sutherland stated that the Bassett Road project (2007) was partially for sewer improvements and it was assessed to the residents.
Mr. Tadych stated that he brought up at previous meetings the question of capital improvements that may be coming up this year at the RRWTP. Mrs. Mahoney has not yet heard back from the manager of the plant. Mr. Tadych stated that if we were going to have improvements at the plant, the $6.25 per quarter becomes almost meaningless if the City is going to have another assessment from the plant added to it. The Mayor stated that they do go through the same process as municipalities in applying for OPWC funds, but they usually score very highly because they service so many residents. It is highly unusual for some type of improvement to be assessed to the cities. The RRWTP also has a capital fund that can be tapped in an emergency.
Mr. Clark suggested the sewer fee issue be brought up to the Council Committee of the Whole.
The next meeting of the Finance Committee will be Monday, November 10 at 6:30 p.m. Draft 2 of the 2015 budget will be prepared for review. The committee will also review some of the requests for capital items by departments.
Mr. Tadych asked how rusty the sewer truck actually is. Mr. Thomas stated that the components of the truck are in bad shape. The truck is usable, but the equipment inside is the most expensive part of the truck. Mr. Thomas will provide a breakdown of the costs of the truck and the equipment.
Mr. Henderson stated that his understanding is that the truck has two cameras. The company will supply, when necessary, visual equipment under a loan program. Consideration should be given whether to buy two new cameras or buy one and loan the other if necessary. Mr. Thomas will review the cost difference. Both cameras are needed.
Minutes of a Meeting of Finance Committee November 3, 2014 Mr. Clark asked if there will be information coming soon about the Lake Road and Wolf Road projects. Mr. Thomas stated that it may be too soon for information for Lake Road, Phase 5. He will ask to see where the City stands with the County on the Wolf Road project.
Meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.