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Russell City Council Approves Water Rate Hikes

Russell City Council 5-6-14The Russell City Council approved an ordinance at its monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon that will raise residential, commercial and industrial water rates for Russell water users over the next three years.

With the ongoing drought and water conservation efforts, the city is currently not recouping its water utility costs, leading the Council to take action to adjust rates.

The rate increases will be based on an ascending usage structure over three years. To view the official ordinance and see how your rates will adjust, CLICK HERE.

Russell City Manager Jon Quinday says after those three years, an automatic three percent rate increase for the next two years will take effect.

The approved rate increases will be seen on your July bill.

Also Tuesday, the Council heard the findings of a housing assessment study conducted by RDG Planning and Design of Omaha, Nebraska.

Amy Haase of RDG told the Council Russell needs to focus on rehabilitating outdated single-family and rental homes to better serve young professionals and retirees. She said the rehab process should start in the areas around Russell's schools.

Haase also stated construction of new townhomes or apartment complexes could be beneficial as well.

Also at the meeting, the Council approved an ordinance to update the city cemetery regulations. No major changes were made, but the ordinance does officially prohibit any above-ground placement of caskets or urns.

By a separate resolution, the Council approved cemetery fee increases. CLICK HERE to view the resolution.

And lastly, Councilmembers Tuesday approved a Bartlett and West study to look at additional water sources for the city and determine viability of them.

Councilman Chuck Bean says this study should help Russell look for a more short-term solution while also still exploring the long-term R9 Ranch with Hays.

The study will look at Cedar Bluff Reservoir, Saline and Smoky River and Big Creek wells, and expansion of Fossil Lake.

CLICK HERE to view the April 15 meeting minutes.

CLICK HERE to view the April 18 special meeting minutes.

The May 20 meeting minutes will be made available when they are released.

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