Water, EMS rates rising 2013.05.08

Written by David Green.

Water rates and the EMS ambulance assessment are both expected to increase for Morenci residents starting in July.

Water costs have remained steady since 2005, said Morenci mayor Keith Pennington, and reserves in the fund have shrunk.

The new proposal is to increase the rate from $1.76 per thousand gallons to $2.40. The increase will not affect a resident’s entire sewer and water bill, Pennington pointed out, but only the portion of the bill for water usage. Looking at his own bill, he anticipates an increase of about $10 each quarter.

The city is looking at maintenance needs at the water tower between Chestnut and East Coomer streets with an estimated cost of $115,000.

In addition, the fire department has requested a loop to be formed on the west end of the city for better fire protection.

Some water lines are targeted for replacement which is holding up repaving efforts, such as on Locust Street.

Water funds were used during the parking lot project when new lines were laid before paving.

If rates are increased now, Pennington said, some of those projects could get underway soon.

EMS—The proposed city budget shows a 10 percent increase in the assessment for the Morenci Area EMS. 

Revenue continues to decrease from insurance reimbursement, Pennington said, and federal rates are being pushed down.

The ordinance that established the EMS service allows city council to increase rates by a maximum of 10 percent annually.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
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  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
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  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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