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Council approves motion to increase utility rates

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The Bandera City Council approved a motion to increase the 2021-2022 utility rate by 10 percent during their regular meeting on Sept. 21, and a public hearing on the matter will be held at City Hall on Thursday, September 30, at 9 a.m. before the discussion and potential action is taken on the matter in a special meeting of the council on the same day at 9:15 a.m.

In 2019, the council had a rate study performed and a 20 percent increase was recommended, although they ultimately decided against a rate hike. During last Tuesday’s meeting, City Administrator David Jordan recommended an increase of up to 10 percent across the board to the council.

Jordan said that the price of supplies and maintenance has risen and the cost recovery of providing the service to the city under Maintenance and Operations is .39 percent.

Mayor Pro Tem Rebeca Gibson agreed raising the rates to maintain the system is a necessary function of the city’s service system.

A motion was made for a ten percent utility increase, with five in favor and one opposed. Council member Jerry Russe, who opposed the hike, said he did not agree with the amount of the increase while salary increases moved forward.

He added that ten percent was pretty significant and would negatively affect businesses who consume and pay more for commercial utilities.

A public hearing regarding the 2021-2022 proposed utility rate will be held tomorrow, September 30, at 9 a.m. at Bandera City Hall, located at 511 Main Street.

Following that meeting, discussion and possible action on adoption of new utility rates will be discussed during a special meeting of the Bandera City Council at 9:15 a.m.

Other items on the special meeting’s agenda include discussion and possible action on approving Bandera Economic Development Corporation’s proposed 2021-2022 budget, an ordinance levying a property tax rate for the tax rate year 2022, ordinances amending and adopting the 2020-21 budget and adoption of the fee schedule for the 2021-2022 budget year.