Study session

An ordinance to add “electronic cigarette” as a definition of smoking, a review of audio/video equipment at the Abilene Public Library to record meetings and a request to negotiate water rates with Rural Water District No. 2 will be before the Abilene City Commission at a study session at 4 p.m. Monday in the city building.

At the last meeting Hank Royer pointed out to the city commissioners that Abilene’s smoking ordinance does not include vaping.

“Vaping didn’t exist when the ordinance was written,” he told commissioners.

A proposal to add audio and video for city commission and other meetings calls for $73,855 in equipment and $6,636 for installation.

Commissioners approved $100,000 in its budget for 2020 which is funds left over from the Abilene Public Library improvement fund.

The commission may be requesting a meeting with the Rural Water District No. 2 board to discuss water rates.

The Feb. 28, 2011 contract says, “The rate charged by the city for water sold to the water district shall be $1.44 per 1,000 gallons beginning with the March 1, 2011 utility bill.”

That rate was to remain unchanged until 2013.

“For two calendar years thereafter, (that is, calendar year 2014 and 2015) annual rate increases may be imposed, however, increases will be capped at a maximum of 2.5 percent or the percentage rate increase incurred by city retail customers, whichever is smaller.

“After calendar year 2015, the rate charged by the city to the water district shall be subject to renegotiation and the parties shall negotiate in good faith to agree on a new water rate,” the contract says.

However, rate increases have not been implemented by the city.

The contract calls for the city to charge the district $1.44 per 1,000 gallons through 2015.

According to the contract with the water district, “annual rate increases will be capped at a maximum of 2.5%, or the percentage rate increase incurred by the city retail customers, whichever is smaller. Notification of rate increases shall be made to Dickinson County Rural Water District No. 2 90 days prior to implementation.”

The proposed water rate increase from 2019 to 2020 for Abilene customers is 12.75 percent which is about a $4 a month increase for a home using 5,000 gallons per month. The estimated bill for a user at 5,000 gallons in 2019 is $30 a month. After the increase in 2020, the estimated bill would go to $33.83.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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