Auditor calls for sewer rate increase in Lancaster

December 07, 2004|BOBBIE CURD

LANCASTER - Lancaster's longtime auditor told the City Council Monday night that a sewer rate increase is needed.

"The sewer fund account is skating on thin ice, and a rate increase in 2005 is a necessity at this point," said Frank Clements of Mulligan, Hill, Clements and Co. CPA of Louisville.

The water and sewer departments each ended the fiscal year with more expenses than revenues, and both services are being reviewed for rate increases in 2005.

The sewer fund is listed as having a $214,882 deficit, while the water department fund account shows a loss of $38,616 over the year.


Although a settlement was mentioned that was paid to Debbie Carter, a former city employee who sued Lancaster, it was noted that the money was paid out of the city's insurance and did not affect the income of the fiscal year for the water department.

The council did not act on any rate increases Monday night.

The city's $1.2 million water distribution project was discussed. It involves a Community Development Block Grant for $595,000 and additional financing from Kentucky Infrastructure Authority and Rural Development. The project is due to be completed by June 30, 2006.

At 7 p.m. Monday, City Clerk Shari Lane will preside over a meeting at City Hall where a new ordinance will be proposed pertaining to supplying five homes with a sewer line due to a failing septic tank system that has caused general health concerns. The cost of the new system is estimated at $19,543, and $3,000 of that is to be passed on to the owners of the residences.

Junk and dump sites discussed

The council also discussed the issue of junk and dump sites. The city's legal procedure will advance from warning letters that give the owners 15 days to rectify the situation to issuing a summons if they fail to do so.

Fire Chief Kenny Adams also brought pictures of three vacant houses within the city limits to the council's attention.

"Can't we do something about these properties other than sending a letter? Because that is just not working. Something needs to be done about these places," Adams said.

The fire chief added jokingly, "I know that if any of these houses belonged to me, you all would already have done something about it."

The council added the matter to its next agenda to "seriously consider and do something about," as Mayor Billy C. Moss put it.

Moss also requested a formal statement be noted on the minutes to thank former water superintendent Fred Simpson for 17 years of service to the city of Lancaster. "He left without anything being said, and I want it formally noted that we thank him for his 17-year service to the city. And he was a good employee," Moss said.

Simpson's mother, Margaret, was in the audience and thanked the mayor for his kind statement about her son.

Moss brought up the surplus of bikes that the city has accumulated and proposed to give them away to needy children for Christmas.

Adams said the fire department will be awarded a federal grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Programs. This is the third year the department has applied but the first it has won. The department will receive $46,170 to purchase new air packs.

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