The future of water in Brazil may no longer be on ice.
During Tuesday's meeting, the Common Council of the City of Brazil took the next step to potentially replacing the water tower and reviewed potential waterworks utility rate increases.
In a public hearing prior to the meeting, West Central Indiana Economic Development District Economic Development Planner Terry Jones explained information about the Community Development Block Grant Planning Program and the subsequent grant application the city would need to submit to conduct a water study.
"The planning grant would come from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, who will conduct a study to identify the biggest problem areas within the city," Jones said. "This study opens a bunch of other avenues, including the possibility for a grant to replace the water tower."
The total cost of the study would be for $32,000, of which $28,800 would come from the grant as the city must provide a 10 percent match.
"The size of Brazil makes it a 'non-entitlement' area in which grant monies must be applied for instead of automatically given, which happens in bigger areas like Indianapolis and Terre Haute," Jones said. "Also, we have completed the survey of residential water customers which is required as part of the application process."
When the regularly scheduled meeting began, the council passed a resolution to move forward with the application process and commit the city to the match amount.
"The greatest purpose of this study is that it keeps the process moving," Jones, who is also serving as Grant Administrator for the project, said.
The council also conducted the first reading of an ordinance regarding increasing the waterworks utility rates.
Jennifer Wilson, CPA with Crowe Horwath LLP, Indianapolis, explained the proposal eliminates the seventh tier of rates for water consumption and adds an 87 percent increase on all other tiers.
"Water consumption rates in Brazil have not been increased since 1993," Wilson said. "The increases would affect the water portion of residents' bills only, not the sewage."
Wilson added the increases would not only cover the cost of operations, but the city's debt service for waterworks and help fund future projects as well.
"We eliminated the seventh tier because, in essence, it was costing the city to provide water services to those customers," she said. "The average residents' water bill would increase approximately $12-$13 dollars with the changes."
The council had discussed potentially phasing in the increases, but discovered it would hamper the city's ability to receive grant funding.
"Rates need to be at a set amount to receive grants for other projects," Wilson told the council. "By setting the increases now, it enhances the city's ability to receive grants for the replacement of the water tower and older water lines."
The council has tentatively set a public hearing on the matter one hour prior to its next meeting on Jan. 13, 2009, at 6 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
In other business, the council approved a resolution for a General Obligation Bond in connection with the Clay County Redevelopment Commission through a pre-existing interlocal agreement.
According to the resolution, the bond is not to exceed $670,000 and will be incrementally paid off during approximately the next 10 years. The bond will go to help cover some of the debts incurred by the city under previous administrations.
The next regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil will be Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Rate change information
The following figures are rates considered by the Common Council of the City of Brazil for Water Consumption and minimum monthly charge based on the size of the meter:
|Consumption (by cubic feet)||Rate per 100 cubic feet|
|More than 30,000||$1.63|
|Size of meter||Charge|
A public hearing regarding the waterworks utility rates will be conducted Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009, at 6 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.