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Russell City Council Discusses Water Rates

Russell City Council 1-7-14Extensive discussions regarding water and possible water rate adjustments were held Tuesday night at the Russell City Council's regular monthly meeting.

JP Metzler of RMA Engineering in Minneapolis was present to speak with the Council about the ongoing water rate study that his company is conducting for Russell. Because of the continuing drought and water restrictions, city officials say Russell is not currently recouping its water utility costs and is struggling to find funding to search for more reliable water sources.

Metzler presented a water rate adjustment plan Tuesday night that would be based on an ascending schedule; meaning residents and businesses that currently use more water per month than folks that don't use as much would pay a higher percentage based on their use.

Councilman GJ Long explains a majority of Russell residents and businesses won't be impacted greatly.

Mayor Curt Mader says, although unfortunate, a water rate increase is necessary.

Water rates in Russell haven't been adjusted since 2006. Even so, Councilman Tony Witt says he doesn't like talking water rate increases when folks have done such a great job of conserving.

No action to raise rates was taken Tuesday night.

Action that was taken, however, was an extension to City Manager Jon Quinday's contract. Quinday has 10 months left on his current contract and at Tuesday's meeting Councilmembers approved a two year extension following the completion of the next 10 months. Quinday will receive a three percent salary increase and a larger monthly vehicle allowance payment.

CLICK HERE for the January 21 meeting minutes. The February 18 meeting minutes will be made available when they are released.

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