Commercial water rates were amended to lesser amounts by Pana City Council at its Monday, Jan. 24 meeting at Pana City Hall. However, complaints by residential water users were rebuffed, relating to usage being calculated by 1,000 gallons instead of 100 gallons as in the past.
The amended ordinance for commercial and out-of-city users is retroactive to June 1, when the increased water rates went into effect.
Mayor Steve Sipes explained that the water system’s “infrastructure is failing,” and although “the popular thing would be to change back, the city must invest in its water and sewer.”
Alderman Glenn Schneider commented, “People don’t like to pay for what they are not getting.”
Although agreeing with that statement, Alderman Phil Waddington said, “If we back out and round out to 100 gallons, not 1,000, it will not keep us from operating in the black.”
The vote to pass the amendment passed 5-2, with Schneider and Alderman Roger Lebon voting “No.”
All aldermen except Barb Stauder were present, with eight persons in the audience.
Amanda Ade Harlow, city attorney, said that when the committee met, recommendations were made to modify the ordinance regarding boating, leasing of lots, and water skiing. Boating includes the definition of watercraft, modifications and penalty, speed and horsepower of boats, life preservers and duty of passengers. Quiet hours will begin a half-hour after sunset until 10 o’clock the next morning. Leasing of lots refers to lease rental amounts, cutting of timber, number of lots per lease, sanitation and plumbing, building without a permit, and docks. Items referring to water skiing relate to the definition of motorboats, occupancy, general regulations and traffic regulations.
Cutting, Mowing on Dam
After lengthy discussion, the council approved spending $11,000 for cutting young trees and mowing the lake dam (on the south side of Lake Pana). The bid was awarded to Doug Miller Construction of Pana. The breakdown includes $4,200 to cut saplings to two-inch-high bases, $800 for removal, and $3,000 each for mowing in June and October.
Waddington commented that saplings was a misnomer, because they had not been cut for five years.
The city crew does not have time to do the work, it was said.
The money for the project will come from water and sewer funds, said Pete Scherzer, city treasurer. Superintendent Don Buerk said that, at the water plant, he had been conducting chemical feed experiments that resulted in a savings of compounds, lowering use to 60 pounds instead of 140-145 pounds per day. There will be an estimated $4,200 savings for the city, which will help pay for the dam work.
The council passed a resolution to rent water tower space to Computer Techniques, Inc. The use will cost $212.50 per month for the first five months, with $100 applying to the engineering fee. CTI will thereafter pay $112.50 monthly rental. An addition to the original resolution allows CTI representatives onto the site during regular business hours, except emergency situations–as determined by the water superintendent or CTI personnel.
Jack Dixon addressed the council regarding placing banners naming active Pana military personnel on utility posts. T-date, nearly 30 active duty persons’ names have been submitted, he said. A contract will be executed with Ameren CIPS–whose posts will be used for the project.
A lease for the open lot south of Community Mission Center was approved unanimously, granting it to John Metzger, of the non-profit organization center’s coordinator, for $1 rental fee. The site is at 32 S. Locust St.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.