MASON — The first reading of ordinances to raise water and sewer rates 15 percent each was held at the most recent Mason Town Council meeting.
Present were Mayor Donna Dennis, Recorder Harley Stewart, and council members Marty Yeager, Sharon Kearns, Steve Ohlinger, Sarah Stover, and Becky Pearson.
The ordinances will allow water rates to increase seven and a half percent on both Dec. 1, 2020, and Dec. 1, 2021, for a total of 15 percent. Sewer rates will also increase seven and a half percent on June 1, 2021, as well as on June 1, 2022, for a total of 15 percent.
The second reading will be held at the Oct. 1 meeting at 6:30 p.m. A public meeting will be held Oct. 15 at 6 p.m., prior to the third and final reading at 6:30 p.m. that night.
The mayor said the town is currently spending more in the water and sewer departments than it is taking in. She added the town will eventually run out of money, and that the bills are continuing to go up.
Kearns, who made the motions for the ordinance readings, indicated if it was not done by the town, the state would step in and impose the hikes at higher percentages.
Also at the meeting, Stover said she had applied for, and received, money from the CARES Act grant for reimbursement for the town. She said the money, $203.97, was for a sneeze guard installed in the water office and other supplies. It was previously believed it was too late to apply for the funds.
In other action, the council:
Heard requests for street lights on George and Martin streets;
Heard a report that new tires had been ordered for a police department vehicle;
Agreed to allow Dennis and Stewart to sign paperwork at Farmers Bank for the lease/purchase of a 2021 Ford Explorer for the police department at a cost of $33,426;
Approved building permits for Bob Barnitz for a roof, and Roberta Pullins for a roof;
Agreed to begin renting the community room once again since being closed due to COVID-19;
Set trick-or-treat for Thursday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 7 p.m.; and,
Reinstated an employee who had previously been suspended.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.