By Julie Ann Madden
At their April 16 meeting, a report on the city’s current financial status led to the council deciding to review the city’s utility rates.
According to Westfield City Clerk Barbette Grimm, the city’s water utility is operating in the red after recent equipment purposes. Plus, the wastewater rates look good now but with upcoming upgrades and maintenance needs, revenues will soon not keep up with expenditures.
“We need to increase the rates,” said Grimm.
On a positive note, the electric rates “seem fine,” she said, and garbage rates will probably drop because of the city’s recycling program.
Mayor Bill Hummel suggested the council review all of the city’s utility rates and get current rural water rates. The consensus of the council was to review all the rates next month.
Grimm also stressed to the councilors the need to support Plymouth County towns’ and the county’s Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) levy election Aug. 6. Although Westfield’s municipal LOST levy does not have an expiration date, residents benefit from the other entities’ LOST levies.
In other business, the Council:
• Were informed about the new Westfield Drainage District tax assessment where landowners with property inside the drainage district will be taxed $100 per parcel per year for the next six years, then $10 per parcel per year. This special assessment goes into effect with 2013 taxes, which are payable in 2014.
Plymouth County Drainage Board officials, which are the county supervisors, will host a public forum at 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Thursday, May 16 at the Westfield Community Center, 215 Linden St., Westfield.
• Learned the city’s Code of Ordinances’ revision was ready for council members to review.
Councilor Marcia Dewey and Mayor Bill Hummel volunteered to review it.
• Was informed all the monthly Treasurer’s Reports have been completed.
• Had a request to have gravel added to Railroad Drive. Consensus was to ask Terry and Scott Morehead to spread the gravel.
• Completed the first reading of the new ordinance regarding solid waste collection and hauling agreement between Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency and the City of Westfield.
Also, discussed the recycling/garbage pickup schedule. Consensus was to continue the every-other-week schedule at this time.
Councilor Marcia Dewey made the motion to approve the first reading and Councilor Jim Ulatowski seconded it. The vote was unanimously, 4-0, with Councilor Gerald Bohr absent.
• Decided to request three high school boys to volunteer for the city during Akron-Westfield’s Community Service Day May 6. The boys will work with Councilor Don Dion.
• Will have dumpsters for spring cleanup available for residents’ use.
• Learned the mayor will paint the lines on the city park’s basketball court.
• Noted the next evening, they would be holding a special meeting to conduct interviews for the city clerk position. Editor’s Note: After the interviews were completed, the council voted to hire one applicant but the person declined the offer. Consensus was to advertise the position again.