The Philomath Finance and Administration Committee took a closer look at water rate figures during its Aug. 27 meeting.
City Councilor Chas Jones, who sits on the committee with fellow councilors Marion Dark and David Low, shared an analysis of rate increases, impacts on users and various other factors.
The city has forged ahead on a plan to incrementally raise water rates in the interest of rebuilding Philomath’s aging infrastructure, namely, the construction of a new water treatment plant.
Jones and Dark both expressed the desire to see the Public Works Committee in the spring spend more time with additional information available when making water rate recommendations.
Ultimately, Jones made a motion ask the Public Works Committee during its implementation discussions to consider a $2.50 per-unit rate increase with the required additional flat base fee to reach needed revenue levels.
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Also at the meeting, the committee decided to recommend to the City Council that Randy Kugler Community Hall’s weekday rental rates — excluding city-recognized holidays, be reduced to $20 for residents, $50 for nonresidents with additional $5 discounts if reserved for use between 8 a.m.-noon.
In addition, the committee opted to no longer waive the rental fee for specific nonprofit organizations that had been identified in 2015 after the shelter opened. In the future, only the Philomath Lions Club will receive a fee waiver in recognition of its contributions during the shelter’s construction.
Three other groups had been receiving fee waivers in the past — the Philomath Classic Car Show on Frolic weekend; the Philomath High Old-Timers Picnic and the Church in the Park event.
The committee also moved forward a draft investment policy with a revision. Corporate Commercial paper was recommended for removal since it is not an approved investment by the Oregon State Treasury.