Vienna Utility Board to back original rate hike proposal

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp, left, answers a question during a meeting of the Vienna Utility Board on Wednesday, as board member Steve Eaton, right, listens.

VIENNA — In a special meeting Wednesday, the Vienna Utility Board discussed a lower utility hike, but instead recommended the original rate proposal.

Under a new proposal the cost for water would have been 69 cents per 1,000 gallons instead of 96 cents per 1,000 gallons and a sewer rate of $1.41 per 1,000 gallons rather than $2.10 per 1,000 gallons.

Under the new proposal, Mayor Randy Rapp said the rate increase would only cover the board’s bond service and the amount they are required by law to set aside for maintenance.

Rapp said the proposal would mean no line extensions or improvements to the water or sewer systems.

Utility board member and council member Bruce Rogers made a motion to recommend to council that it implement the rate increase the council discussed two weeks ago.

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Board members Bruce Rogers, left, and John Barr, right, listen during Wednesday’s meeting of the Vienna Utility Board.

In a unanimous vote, the board voted to recommend adoption of the original rate increase proposal.

“I would like to make a motion to go with the original figures from (accountant) Michael Griffith,” Rogers said. “He looked at our financial report, he looked at where we are and looked at our bonds. It only took us from being the lowest to eighth in the state.

“We are still lower than Parkersburg and tied with Williamstown; we are within the levels compared to others around here,” Rogers said.

Council will meet in regular session tonight at 7:30 in City Hall at 609 29th St.

Rogers’ motion was seconded by Steve Eaton.

Board member Joseph Thorpe said at first he was unsure about the increase because he had many unanswered questions.

“I can understand why the board is going with the recommendation,” Thorpe said. “I was hesitant at that first meeting but I feel more comfortable now with the recommendation.”