Mayor Explains 20 Percent Water Rate Increase in Hennepin

The citizens of Hennepin saw a water rate increase on their February bill.

Although water rates are set by the water district board, the change was brought up at the monthly town board meeting Wednesday night. Mayor Kevin Coleman, who also sits on the water board, explained that because of the Arcelor-Mittal steel plant shutdown, the water board has been operating at a loss, and finally needed to raise rates.

“The water rates went up 20 percent. A lot of people asked me why, and it basically comes down to the water district is running in the red. We’re losing 40 percent a year. We raised the rates 20 percent, hoping we could find the other 20 percent,” said Coleman. “We’re still operating under 1960s electronics. We have to rebuild.”

Board Member Clyde Zellmer asked if the rates were raised according to statute. Coleman said they were. The board then discussed ways that the water district could save money, including dissolving the water district and running it through the town.

PURCHASED: The board voted to purchase three lots near the river and pump station from the water district. The cost of all three were $5,000 total.

MOWING: Lynn Haage, head of the park committee, explained the changes in the park mowing agreement. The committee will continue to hire students from the village to mow the park, but will have more stringent guidelines to ensure the job is done correctly.

DONATED: The board donated $100 to the Special Olympics.

Source: News Tribune