The Board of Public Works and Safety met Wednesday and made a recommendation regarding the increase in utility rates, which will help fund improvement projects.
The recommendation is for the water and sewage rate increases discussed at Monday's special City Council meeting, which were proposed at the Aug. 8 regular City Council meeting.
The council met Monday for the first readings of Ordinances Nos. 11-and-12-2012, and needs a recommendation from the Board of Works to continue the process moving forward.
The rate increases are proposed to help fund needed water improvement projects and push the Highway 40 project to completion.
Brazil Mayor Brian Wyndham took a moment to recap the increases.
"That's the package that was put together for the utilities in order to ... basically create the funding to do some needed projects here in the city," Wyndham said. "This proposal ... was also presented to the City Council Monday night ... and a couple weeks ago. I think it's a good program; it has identified projects we need to do. The money it generates -- you see exactly where it's going."
Board member Ruthann Jeffries said she understands rate increases are never easy, but noted this was necessary.
"I don't want my water bill or my sewer bill to go up, but I think these are ongoing problems," Jeffries said. "These are not problems that we're just coming up with, and some of this could have been handled a little bit (sooner) and wasn't. When (previous administrations) had the three options of rate increases before, and chose the lowest one, it's (now) kind of on us to go with the higher one. But I don't think that we have a choice."
Board member Linda Messmer agreed with Jeffries.
"We have to (have the increase to fund the projects)," Messmer said. "I pay rates too, and I don't want my rate increased. I think it's already too high, but this is something that has to be done. If we don't fix our sewers and our water system, we're either going to be fined more than it's going to cost to fix them or they're going to shut down our water system ... I want to reiterate what Ruthann said, this is nothing new that just happened, this has been in the process for years, and it's just now reaching this particular state."
The motion was made and seconded to make the recommendation, and it passed unanimously.
The rate increase ordinances will be discussed again at the Sept. 19 City Council meeting, at which time a public forum will take place and the ordinances will be presented for the second reading.
The Board of Public Works and Safety meets regularly the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m., in Brazil City Hall.