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11/19/2012 6:01:00 AM
Kingman wastewater rate hike expected to be approved
Anderson, who will vote no, says increase is not justified
Richard Anderson
Richard Anderson

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

Council is expected to approve the 25-percent increase to wastewater rates Tuesday when it holds a public meeting on the matter. The higher rates take effect Jan. 1.

Over the last couple of months, the increase has been the cause of much debate between Councilman Richard Anderson, who is still not convinced rates should be raised, and city staff. Rate-increase alternatives were explored, but they were dismissed. Explanations were given yet continue to be questioned. And now that it's time for the public hearing, the reality of a $12 per month increase for the average residential user is setting in.

"They have not justified the rate increase they're asking for," Anderson said of city staff. He plans to vote against the increase.

The basics remain the same: The city needs approximately $7 million a year for the city's two wastewater treatment plants and to make payments on the $55 million loans taken out from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority to build them. Without the increase, the city would be short a little over $1 million of that mark.

About $4 million is the actual annual loan payment. Another $775,000 a year gets set aside for debt reserve for the first five years of the loans. The city must operate the plants to the tune of $1.9 million to $2.1 a year. It also sets aside $125,000 for contingencies.

At the end of the first five years of the loans, the city will no longer need to set aside money for debt reserve. But it must immediately start setting aside the same amount of money each year for the repair and replacement fund. This continues throughout the 20-year life of the loans.

As the city built the plants, it was able to implement several cost-saving techniques and now the $55 million line of WIFA credit is looking more like $52 million. This is the basis of Anderson's most compelling argument.

He believes the city should negotiate with WIFA for a deferment of some kind, so that savings benefit customers now instead of in 20 years.

The rest of Council seems to be in favor of increasing the rates because it'll keep the city in compliance with WIFA loan covenants - something the city agreed to do when it took the loans.

If approved, this will be the fifth wastewater rate hike in as many years, but it's also supposed to be the last.

Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the City Complex, 310 N. Fourth St.

ICT - Dr. Mohtaseb
Related Stories:
• Councilman demands answers about Kingman wastewater fee increase

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Anderson for Mayor and Wolslagel for Councilman

Thanks, Dean. You sure are one of the brave ones. Have you thought of running for council?

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Solution is We Need Real Leaders

The solution is the city must immediately raise hook up fees, expand the sewer lines to pull in more customers. Yes, I know the expansion costs money. Yea, that's the problem - it should have been expanded during the boom times. Instead the city leaders decided to put money into the Powerhouse (which they continue to do), pay to have parades, continue to pay employee benefits far in excess to the average local private employer.

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Harris

Vock, the reason is because the council and city staff cowers before the real estate and builders in this town.

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Article comment by: G Ma


Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Article comment by: Dean Wolslagel

Why have a city council ?
The council seems to work for the staff all except Mr. Andeson . They ok everything the staff wants except pay raises for the last 7 years! This community has been fooled that the council is overseeing the public treasury but it fails to do an independent audit of the books..Why ? Anyone who trusts this council to do the right thing is dreaming. If you dont play Golf and a memeber of a certain lodge your out of the picture of power here in Kingman .

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Article comment by: Stinky Deal

Sewer Rates in Kingman, AZ are going over the fiscal cliff.

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Article comment by: how many?

@ just a fact - you bring up an interesting point. How many of the council and administrative positions in the city actually live where they would pay the sewer fee?

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: less to eat

As I sit here 10:30pm eating Ramin noodles with a slice of cheese for dinner.

I ask myself...How can I squeeze another 12 dollars out of my nutritious menu budget. What does a person eat when they cant afford Ramin?


Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: vock canyon

Why not just increase the hook up fee's for new homes? The current rate won't cover the increase in expenses that each new hookup incurs. A new well and septic system costs about $20k, not $1400. as the city charges.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Robert Feddermen

I saw that television show with Mr. Hamlyn hammering Mr, Anderson it was a good show both men were well prepared. I agree with Anderson I think he should be Mayor. I know alot of people watch channel 57 and more should if they want to know what is going on. Good job Mr. Anderson!

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: The Conservative

Simple, it may be difficult to block this from passing but it is easy to add to it. Simply add verbiage that any additional increase in the next ten years will be subject to popular vote.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Had Enough

If they want to keep hiking the rates up then it's up to us to flush them down the sewer we are paying for .

We paid for the Sewer so let's show them where they can go when election time comes around .

Take down the names who vote yes . We are the ones who put these fools in office . We can take them out of Office .

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Had Enough

The City of Kingman is a joke. Always has been, always will be. I dream of the day to be gone from this nightmare.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Highly Amused

So this is going to be for in-city people only right? Since most in the county use septic systems?

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: L Smith

HaHaHa.....When was the last time the city of
Kingman Lowered a Tax? When was the last time
something in the city of Kingman was paid off and the Taxes Returned to the People of Kingman.
More More More don't you ever get enough.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Dan Geruss

My opinion is as before, I applaud Mr. Anderson for speaking up and wanting to do what he was hired to do, work for the people, not management. The largest problem we have in this town, county, state and country is there are too many people that won't take a stand and just except things as being the best course to take. I myself don't understand several points
1) Mayor Salem urged the council at the start to have the project paid off now by the customers instead of using a financial path like other cities do, why?
2) Customers were told that the new system would take over from the old system once it's online and now they are saying that both plants will need operating expenses for 20 years, why?
3) The customers were not given full disclosure as to the projected rise in rates, why?
4) Why is some of the money being used to create two slush funds?
Last, if something is foul here Mr. Anderson, I hope you waste no time in contacting the state to perform an audit on the city of Kingman sewer project. All you folks that are fed up with not getting answers and are unable to go to the city meeting remember, you can go to the city of Kingman's website and send comments to the mayor and council members as I have done. I unfortunately live in the outskirts of Kingman and have no voice in the cities elections but am still subject to these rate hikes, we need answers now.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Where are your solutions?

Mr. McCall,

I see you feel the need to comment of every article in the Miner. You always have some negative statement to make. Where are your ideas? If they are all so bad why don't you run for office? I am not happy with another fee either but I don't have any ideas for them so I have to trust that they are making the best decision possible. I watch all of the meetings and Mr. Anderson's advice of "Just don't pay, get a deferment" is only delaying the inevitable. Until someone comes up with a better plan we are better off paying it now then getting a higher increase later. In all my days I have never seen such whiny people as I do on these blogs. Help find a solution, don't just complain about those who are trying to find one.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: just a fact

@ Patriot Wes. The article is about the city. It has nothing to do with Gary Watson or the BOS except Watson's bill will go up the same as yours or mine. OR are you from GV and on septic?

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Steve McCall

It is time for every council member except for Mr. Anderson to step down, including the Mayor. Five rate hikes in five years shows a complete lack of representation of our community. another $12 a month may not seem like much to the members of council, but to those of us living paycheck to paycheck it means being behind on one more bill.
It is time for government on all levels to wake up and realize that you can't just keep passing costs on to the public because of stupid government decisions.
Wake up council and have some compassion. You need to remember that you are public servants, that is you work for us, not vice versa.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Help the People of Kingman

I watched Mr. Anderson on Earl Hamlyn’s show boy it was a good show, both of these gentlemen make some excellent points. I agree with Mr. Anderson about the rate hikes and I think Mr. Hamlyn agreed as well these rates are too high. A 25% increase is too much at this time with people being out of work and money is in short supply. Mr. Hamlyn kept asking Mr. Anderson why was this allowed to happen with the waste treatment system and why has not someone made an effort to help the people of Kingman. If you have cable I suggest you watch this show it may give some insight on this mess and you may watch on utube a lot of Earl’s shows are on utube. I think we should recall anyone of the council that votes for this rate hike. Mr. Anderson you are not alone on this we are behind you, please keep up the good work for us.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: pu pupuhi

Seem's like another Kingman TAX raise for the Sewerage...Later, pay raise for those who asked for this new sewerage height.

samo samo..the people pay for your spending.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Enough Already

Shove your hikes.

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Patriot WES

be aware that BOS Watson hates people that are on the front page more than him!

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: Totally Disgusted

This is TOTAL BS !

And if Mr. Anderson ever decides to run for Mayor i will vote for him . He is the only one who has any sense . I want to thank him for trying to keep this from happening . For the ones who will vote this through .

You people make me sick .

Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012
Article comment by: open your wallets

This is a done deal so were all out another 124 dollars a year. It's not bad if you have a full time job and you pick up a few grand extra a year sitting on the council, try paying it if all you have is a few grand a year part time job.

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