Public Works director: Rate increases desperately needed

Council approves first reading of ordinance that will raise money for a variety of ‘critical needs’

New Hampton Public Works Director Casey Mai pulled out his phone Friday morning and started scrolling through his photos — stopping at two in particular.

One showed the cause of a water main leak earlier this year on West Main Street; the other showed the damage caused to the portion of the street near New Hampton High School.

“When you see this, you realize how lucky we are that the road did not cave in with all the heavy truck traffic and high volume of vehicles that utilize this road,” he said, “you’ll understand — or at least I hope you will — why we need to do this.”

And “this” is a fairly substantial hike to water and sewer rates in the city of New Hampton.

The City Council on Monday night approved the first reading of an ordinance that Mai is long past due and needed if the city is going to take care of its infrastructure needs.

Council members and Mai came up with the proposal during a “committee-as-a-whole” meeting last month, and although there was little discussion about the new ordinance, council members said they approved the first reading as a way to — as Councilman Scott Perkins put it — “get the discussion started.”

The new ordinance would institute a $12.50 infrastructure fee that would help the city build up its capital improvement and equipment funds.

New Hampton is facing a number of challenges in coming years when it comes to its wastewater treatment and street departments. The biggest is the fact that the city must bring its Wastewater Treatment Plant into compliance by 2032.

— For more on this story, see the April 13 Tribun

New Hampton Tribune

121 West Main Street
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111

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