By Mike Dunn 

Sewer ordinance passes

Resolution to solve additional billing disputes


Ordinance 828 passed on its third and final reading Nov. 18, but there is still a rough road ahead for the controversial sewage ordinance.

With Mayor John Zeiger and Councilman Mike McWain absent from the meeting, the ordinance passed 2 to 1.

The ordinance, which will increase sewer fee fees in order to pay for the lagoon wastewater outfall project, will charge each single-family residential unit a rate of $22.73 a month. That rate may increase a maximum of three percent every year. The base rate for sewage will increase by a maximum of $7.20 — which will go towards paying the CWSRF loan.

The rate will impact all residential units, including those who live in mobile homes and apartment dwellings.

Commercial businesses are to be charged a base rate of $28.14 a month, or a minimum of 80 percent of the user’s water bill for the identical property for the same month, which ever is greater.

The $7.20 increase will impact businesses as well, and will go into effect on July 1, 2015.

The passed ordinance is simplified compared to the version proposed by the Carbon County/Saratoga Impact Joint Powers (water and sewer) board. Issues that prolonged the passing of the ordinance were removed from the final draft after town attorney Tom Thompson recommended those issues be addressed through a resolution to make the ordinance “less cluttered” with language.

There is not a draft of the resolution drawn up as of yet.

Councilman Steve Wilcoxson was the lone dissenter on the vote to pass the sewer ordinance. Wilcoxson argued there are still other issues that need to be addressed before the ordinance passes. One issue being those who only live in Saratoga seasonally will still be charged the $22.73 a month fee. Wilcoxson said he believes rates based upon sewer usage should be addressed before the ordinance goes forward.

The water and sewer board members will meet with town council members for a workshop at 5 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Saratoga Town Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to identify and address specific issues with the increased sewer fees and to place those concerns in a resolution. Water and sewer board chairman, Don Price, said due to the amount of issues that need to be addressed, it will likely take more than one meeting to arrive at a compromise.

Liquor licenses

Prior to the town council meeting, council members held their annual public hearing on liquor license renewal.

All retailers and restaurants had their licenses renewed with the exception of Del Rio. After going out of business, Del Rio allowed their restaurant liquor license expire.

Owner of Valley Liquor, Tim Lamprecht, complimented the council and the Saratoga Police Department for promoting the Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) program. Lamprecht said the program, which was offered free to all of the Platte Valley liquor distributers, has helped his employees identify alcohol-related issues they have encountered.

The next Saratoga Town Council meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Dec. 2 at Saratoga Town Hall.


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