MASON — Members of the Mason Town Council agreed to proceed with raising rates for both the water and sewer utilities when they held their most recent meeting.
Over the next two years, each utility will be increasing 15 percent, according to Mayor Donna Dennis.
The council agreed to have the municipal utility accountant write the ordinance that will raise the sewer rate by 10 percent in October 2020, and then another five percent in October 2021. The water will increase eight percent in April 2021, and another seven percent in April 2022.
Once the ordinance is written, the council must seek approval from the West Virginia Public Service Commission. Public meetings will also be held.
Dennis said even though efforts have been made, the town is still spending more than it is taking in. She said the sewer account has $50,000, but at this rate, will be at zero in five years.
Also during the meeting, the council passed the levy for the town 2020/2021 fiscal year budget, which will increase town property taxes by 9.6 percent.
It was decided that spring clean-up will continue, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be held May 6, 7, and 8. All trash must be contained, and the cost is $25 per truck load. Residents must pre-pay by May 5 at the town hall.
Summer plans were discussed, including the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park. Restrooms at the park will be opened on May 4, according to the mayor. The park attendant’s pay has been decreased to $100 per week, because town workers will open the park on weekday mornings. It was also decided that present employees will mow the grass this year, and a seasonal worker will not be hired.
In other action, the council:
Heard from Mark Metts, who attended to ask about the burning ordinance, and was told burning permits must be obtained prior to any fires;
Accepted the resignation of Patrolman Austen Toler, effective April 30, and agreed to accept applications for a certified or uncertified officer;
Agreed to have the wrecked police cruiser repaired instead of leasing a new vehicle; and,
Reminded residents with swimming pools that in order to receive a sewer adjustment, the water office must be called prior to filling the pool.
Mayor Dennis said the council is continuing to hold face-to-face meetings at the town hall through COVID-19, but social distancing is being observed in the meeting room. The next meeting is May 7 at 6:30 p.m.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.