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City Council to consider water fee hikes during Tuesday night work session
By Pat Caldwell
A proposal to boost city water fees will be a key item of discussion Tuesday night during the Baker City Council’s work session at City Hall.
The meeting, which is open to the public, is slated to kick off at 6 p.m.
Along with the water fee hike proposal, elected leaders will discuss Baker City Public Works capital plans and the 2014 pavement management blueprint.
The proposed 6.6-percent fee hike consists of two parts. Five percent of the fee boost will cover the cost of projected debt service for a Safe Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund. That low-interest, $2 million loan will be used to underwrite part of the UV water treatment project. The other portion of the hike — about 1.6 percent — is routine boost tied to the consumer price index.
Of that $2 million, the city will not be required to repay $250,000.
“So, in essence, we are repaying about $1.75 million,” Baker City Finance Director Jeanie Dexter said.
City Manager Mike Kee said that water fee boosts for residents have been annual events.
“Historically we incrementally raised water rates with inflation. Which has been a real good policy over the years,” he said. “We are taking on debt so we need to at least charge enough to continue to do the operations and maintenance and pay the debt.”