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11/23/2012 6:01:00 AM
$12 hike in Kingman sewer fees now official
AHRON SHERMAN/MinerCoral Loyd, the cityís finance director speaks to Council Tuesday about the 25 percent sewer rate increase for Jan. 1.
AHRON SHERMAN/Miner

Coral Loyd, the cityís finance director speaks to Council Tuesday about the 25 percent sewer rate increase for Jan. 1.


Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - It's official. Your sewer rates are going up by approximately 25 percent on Jan. 1.

City Council voted 5-1 to approve the increase Tuesday. Councilman Richard Anderson kept his promise and cast the lone "nay" vote. Both Councilwoman Erin Cochran and City Manager Jack Kramer did not attend the meeting.

The 25 percent translates to about $12 a month for the average residential customer, but it's important to note that what each person pays on his or her individual bill is tied to use.

Anderson continued to speak out against the increase as he has for the last couple of months. He argued that the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority waived nearly $700,000 of the 2012 principle payment for the Downtown Wastewater Treatment Plant and city staff decided what to do with the money without bringing it before Council.

"The rate increase could have been 8.125 percent, but the city staff made the decision for the Council," he wrote in an email to the Miner. "Thank you (City Manager) Jack (Kramer) and (Finance Director) Coral (Loyd) for making the decision to raise the rates 25 percent. The city took the authority away from the Council by using money that should have been credited back to the customer."

Loyd said his argument is simply not true.

No payments have been waived, she said. The only thing WIFA waived in 2012 was the pledged revenue test, which says the city must raise revenue sufficient to cover 120 percent of the annual loan payments, she added. It was waived because rates hadn't been raised enough at that point to cover the covenant.

"What he is saying is completely false," she said.

In fact, the city is not scheduled to make its first loan payment for the downtown plant until July.

Several community members spoke out against the increase during the public hearing. A couple of them complained about their individual bills and one asked the Council to come up with a new idea.

Dean Wolslagel stood in front of Council and recommended it delay the vote until all Council members and the city manager are present and all the information Anderson has requested is made available. He also argued that conducting the meetings during the holidays dissuades people from showing up and gives the impression Council is rushing the decision.

Councilwoman Janet Watson said the process has not been hasty whatsoever. This goes back several years and the discussion about the 2013 increase has been going on for quite some time, she said.

"We've explored every other way," she said of the early November meeting dedicated to finding a rate-increase alternative. "We have a contract with the (entity) that loaned us the $55 million. This (the rate increase) is part of the contract."

Anderson continued to hammer the $700,000argument and reminded city staff to remember whose pockets the city is dipping into.

Watson took exception to Anderson's comments. It's all been answered, she said.

"He's a Council member," she said. "He's not the financial director for the city."

Councilman Larry Carver agreed. Every piece of information he's requested regarding the loans and the rate increases has been 100 percent accurate, he said. There's always a little bit of guesswork and variability with these types of situations, he added.

This is the last scheduled rate increase, and marks the fifth time in five years that the rates have been raised. Starting in 2009, the increases were 50 percent, 49 percent and three straight years of 25 percent increases.

KRMC (career choice)-46961

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

Could I offer a suggestion for all the people that use the term "fixed income"?

Almost EVERYONE is on a fixed income unless you work for commission. Even if you make $100K a year salary or wages...you are still on a fixed income unless you get a raise or cost of living adjustment somehow, but even then it's still fixed for the next term.

Few people can decide for themselves how much they will make unless they are in independent sales of some sort.

Here's my suggestion....let's try "limited income" or some variation of that. Maybe add "extremely" or "very" as a modifier?


Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Article comment by: Barbara Carpenter

"The increase that will most likely go into effect Jan. 1 marks the fifth time in as many years that the city has raised the rates."
http://kdminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubsectionID=1&ArticleID=53364

There are a lot of people in Kingman on fixed incomes and the constant increases make it more and more difficult to make ends meet.

Has the city thought about giving low income discounts? Kingman needs to do something to help these people.


Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: Willie The Wonk

Expose Anderson for what he really is! A blow hard career beauracrat from the DC area. If there is no money, he invents the new revenue stream from under the sofa. "If it's a credit, it must mean cash!!" Not the way it works pal. He is saying no just like Ron Gould and Buster Johnson and Sam Scarmardo. "Say No just so later on I can say I said no to further my political ambitions." He is a completely different person in front of a mike. He votes to progress himself, not the best interests of the people he represents. Think about it.....he will be the odd man out to bring media attention to himself....."must be a conspiracy because I said its a conspiracy".....Loyd has explained the cash flow and budget to him a thousand times and the dude just doesn't get it. Doesn't sound like a big shot financial wizard to me!!!

Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: I go for ANderson 4 mayor

Cocran you need not make excuses. We all know you would have voted for the increase and the outcome would have been the same. Glad you enjoyed a family vacation.

Anderson, keep moving forward. I would have thought Carver would have dug a little deeper into the finance issues of the loan or at least been more responsive on solutions. You would be a good candidate for mayor, hope you run the next election. If we want a change, new council needs to be voted in this next election as was done this election.


Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Article comment by: Karel Peckar

Having spent forty years in water and waste water treatment I may have a different insight than most.

First, it costs at least double to treat waste water compared to drinking water. Therefore we should pay accordingly. Kingman did not ask to have a new waste water treatment plant. Your friendly EPA stuck it to us!

Second, the average household can reduce waste water costs by reducing water useage. Stop thise drips. Change out your old toilet to one that requires less water. There's a meter on your water line. Not your sewer! Sewer tax is usually based on water usage.

Finally, the average Kingman family spends a lot more on cabel and satellite TV than on wastewater. Think about it. What's more important. And yes, I know many cannot afford TV other than out of the air. Perhaps the increase should not apply to those who cannot afford cabel and sat TV?


Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Give me a break Max

Max,

Minimum wage in 2007 was $6.75 in AZ... I don't know where you lived then but it must not have been here. If you are going to make a factual statement such as yours can you please check your facts. Also, this is a CITY issue not COUNTY. Give me a break!


Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

@Max Gibbons

You read something wrong. According to the US DoL...it was $6.75 in 2007 and is now $7.65....not a decrease as you state.

I had a 40 hr/wk job a few years back where a $.20-.30 raise per hour was pretty common. Wasn't great...but better than the alternative. Was that what I actually got? No. Why? Because I learned my job and excelled at it. The people that got those numbers were happy to do the minimum and that was it.

How proud of yourself do you have to be to let the Gov tell your employer what you are worth?

Min wage is designed for temp work and youngsters....not a lifetime of work.


Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Max Gibbons

Min. wage in 2007 was $7.75
Min. wage today $7.65
We are being barried by government, this needs to stop.
Look at how nice the County building is downtown. You will find a glass surround staircase and other hi-end expenses that came out of someones pocket (middle class).
The Kingman has plenty of money and so does county.


Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: Time to Reinstate Impact Fees

Speaking of impact fees - WHERE'S ALL THE BUILDING PROMISED BY ELIMINATION OF THE FEES?

As it turns out the fees have have very little to do with building in this town. It's just the builders and developers didn't want to pay them. Do you really think 5 Guys or Chipolte care about the fees? When they first looked at coming to town, we had impact fees. These big companies see it as a part of entering a community - add on a penny per meal and in a few years those impact fees are gone. The builders and developers with the help of the weak city council eliminated the fees.


Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Article comment by: angry taxpayer

"Thank you Sir! Can I please have another!"

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Erin Cochran

@ What a Surprise:

I was out of state visiting my father for the first time in 3 years and missed the meeting. I have missed (Maybe) 3 meetings in over two years on council. I too am on sewer and will have to stomach the increase. I am on a limited income, raising three kids and giving all of my spare time to try and make this a community my children will want to stay in when they grow up. Not that my vote would have made any difference either way but I would have voted to pass the increase because we have an agreement with our lender to do so. This agreement was in place way before I was elected to the council. I have not taken a family vacation in 5 years with my children because I am too busy with work, school, city, The Kingman Boomers, and several other non-profit groups I am involved with that need my help. I am anything but a coward, I give this community my blood, sweat and tears. I am sorry you feel the need to throw stones but I am glad to know I was missed.

Merry Christmas

Erin Cochran


Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Anderson 4 Mayor

Please prove your statements and show us where the true financial picture lays.
Anderson may be on the right track. Show us the 700K waiver he refers to.


Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: No name provided

@ Mr.Anderson, I don't think staff had a choice where the CREDIT from W.I.F.A. was applied to. W.I.F.A. Gave it to the city for being a rual community for principal reduction.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Steve Housnick

I want to comment on the people that park in front of the handicap access ramps where they have they have them on neighborhood sidewalks, I've been forced to try to get up on different sidewalks in the city and my neighborhood, I can't blame people for parking there, the city should have stipulated that they be painted blue like normal handicapped parking spaces, I'm getting tired of falling down because people don't know they're not suppose to park there, just look at every corner or every adjacent sidewalk, if you see a sidewalk corner and adjacent sidewalk area and you see a ramp in the sidewalk, DO NOT PARK THERE, I have a hard enough time just walking and finding an area where I can get up, it's hard dragging my paralysed leg around

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

@What a Surprise!
Would it have mattered? 5 to 1? Either way, it would have passed.

Maybe it's just me...but all these numbers of $12 here or $20 there never seem to apply to me. Most times it's about 1/2 or less of the published figures. I just can't figure out what people are wasting there water on. Sure...a few dollars more sucks for everyone....but these projects do have to be payed for. What would you all suggest? Hey...how about a sales tax increase? A City property tax assessment? No? Well...what?

Those that call for cutting Council pay...maybe you should check how much they really get for these jobs... not much AFAIK. No cars, no health plan (I don't think), no expense account (again, I don't think). County on the other hand...wow...something like $70-80K a year and a $40K car to drive along with a staff and expense account? Really?

Place blame where blame is due and learn the difference between City and County.


Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Are you on a sewer line service

I could be wrong with not knowing where one of our council members recently moved to, but I think only 1 or 2 council members are on city sewer service. They have never seen an increase in their sewer service. Also the city Manager and Financial Director are not on the city sewer, so they have not seen an increase either. Why canít we use the money from the impact feeís to help assist in paying for a partial of the loan (isnít this what the impact feeís were created for). I realize we no longer collect impact fees, but this is a HUGE impact. Would this lower our interest rates? Also when the loan is paid will we go back down to our original sewer fees? I donít think our feeís will EVER go down that is government for you! I guess less flushing and watering our grass, shrubs & trees. If I stink some itís because I have cut back on showering also.

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Bebe Jones

So glad I'm on septic

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Mavis Hollyman

Kingman has the highest sewer rate I have ever seen , I have lived in Calif., Georgia, other parts of Arizona and the rate here for sewers is outrageous.This has to stop, Lets impeach all council members and stop all their pending plans until a new citizens run council is in place

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Town Crier

This is just another nail in the coffin for a dying community. These types of moves are community killers and typically are part of a small group's agenda to cover their mistakes, or for those that have yet to surface. The city has now guaranteed that more people will leave, which will lead to businesses closing and/or leaving...the domino effect. That rate increase is unheard of...at least to someone that has not lived in Kingman their entire life. How are these individuals who voted for this crap in these positions in the first place? Oh yeah, just look at our school board. At least the community is consistent when it comes to electing the worst, most ineffective, incompetent, short-sighted morons possible. I would say we all need to remember this at election time.

Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Article comment by: the first time and not the last time

why all you guys crying that your bill going up $12.00 a mo ? you voted for the good old boys and girls back into office ! just flush one time a day

Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Article comment by: What a Surprise!

So Erin Cochran didn't show up AGAIN to vote. She didn't show up last time this issue came up for a vote and made excuses for it.

Wonder what it'll be this time? A stubbed toe, hangnail, something in her eye?

Can you say 'coward''




Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Article comment by: Sewer Rat

Has anybody seen the wasteful spending at the Hilltop wastewater plant? The City should be ashamed at what they built!!!

Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012
Article comment by: Duh passed long ago

In my seven years in Kingman seems if you read about any possible rate increase.

You will see that the deals been final long before the vote.

I cant recall an increase of anykind that failed to become true



Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012
Article comment by: Web Dawg

This is why I voted against anyone named Watson.

Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012
Article comment by: Tony Wise

When is it time to quit ripping off the people of kingman and others in small towns. Lets just keep ripping them off.
No one every says lets take a cut in city councils pay that they get for sitting on their butts. I as for everyone on low income say enough is enough. They all need to be impeached , fired and we need to let them know whe're tired of it all and them. Take your money back , you don't get a raise for doing nothing. Quit putting up new buildings and just fix the old ones. This country need to quit ripping of the people.



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