OOLITIC – In a special meeting Monday evening the Oolitic Town Council voted to pass an ordinance to raise the stormwater rates from $3.50 to $10.00.
The ordinance will allow the town to start charging the new rate next month.
The town originally planned on only raising the rate to $9 a month but resident Jim Jenkins at the last council meeting suggested raising the rate up to $10 without having to raise the rates again in the near future.
“I am opposed to starting low and have to increase again in the future,” said Jenkins.
In a previous meeting in June 2019, Jenkins told council members, “This has been happening for years. The area around Vista and Nikirk is a constant headache for residents.”
The areas that will be covered by the loan are Hall/Mathias and 6th and Oak Streets.
The total cost of the loan is $750,000 leaving the town to have to secure a loan in the amount of $150,000. The rate of the loan will be a 2.5 percent interest rate for a period of ten years.
“We have to raise the rates in order to pay the loan back and allow our community to grow,” said Tangie Jenkins Oolitic Town council president following Monday evenings vote.
“In order for the town to pay off the loan it would have cost $6.50, but the federal requirement for the grant was to charge a rate of $7.50,” according to Annette Norrick Clerk/Treasurer Oolitic.
According to town officials this is the first rate increase in over 12 years.
Cindy Grow and Dan Brooks questioned the town on why the town had to have such a large increase especially for only two locations in the town.
“This rate would not only allow us to pay off the loan but will also allow us the revenue to take care of several areas in the town that we are dealing stormwater issues with,” said Jenkins town council president.
In November of 2020, the Oolitic town council voted to raise the trash fees up to $10. Also, the Oolitic town council voted to raise the water rates in the town 42 percent over a two year period back in 2019.