Nevada City may hike water and sewer rates |

Nevada City may hike water and sewer rates

Nevada City’s sewer and water rates could be raised by 10 percent July 1, the city manager said Monday.

Operating costs for the systems are increasing, City Manager Beryl Robinson told the City Council, which did not make a decision on the increase Monday.

The city has lost $81,175 in the operation of its water system and $197,252 in the operation of its wastewater treatment system over the years.

If the rates increases are improved, homeowners could pay $22, rather than $20, per month for 25,000 gallons of water.

A public hearing on the rate increase is expected to be scheduled later this spring.

Also Monday, the council discussed putting a fire tax on the November ballot to pay for new personnel and equipment. No decision was made. The last measure on this was defeated two years ago.

Under state law, the council needs to propose a fire tax measure 88 days before the November election. No specific dollar amounts for the possible tax measure were discussed.

“(Firefighters are) always short of equipment and personnel,” said Councilman David McKay, who has suggested a tax.

The Nevada City Fire Department is considering joint-staffing arrangements with Nevada County Consolidated and the 49er Fire Protection districts to staff the city’s station on Providence Mine Road 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Homeowners now pay $12 a year per parcel for fire protection.

The current fire tax, passed in 1986, raises $30,000 a year.

As of 9 p.m., the new City Council had not been installed. Under city rules, Mayor Kerry Arnett, who won re-election March 5, cannot serve as mayor again.

Conley Weaver, an architect and innkeeper, defeated Nevada City architect Denis Kutch to replace City Councilman Pat Dyer, who decided not to run again.

Councilman Steve Cottrell, the longest-tenured member of the council, has never served as mayor.

Niel Locke was also expected to be sworn in as city treasurer.

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