MADRAS, OR -- The Madras water system is aging, and city officials say it's time to start looking at how to pay for needed upgrades. Public Works Director Jeff Hurd tells KBND News, "Our water system's getting up there in age, and we need to start replacing water lines desperately because basically it's getting old and starting to leak."
He believes the best way to pay for improvements is to raise rates gradually, "In order to get the monies to replace the system, we have to start increasing our rates more than just an inflationary adjustment to start building funds to start replacing water lines." Hurd adds, "We Need to bring up our revenues 11% this year, and we need to do some increases to revenues each year to get to a certain dollar amount so we can start replacing. So, there are options; we have options to establish the rates different ways to raise those revenues 11%."
Councilors will discuss three possible scenarios at Tuesday's City Council meeting: Raise the rate 11% across the board, or split the rate hike between the base rate and usage rate, or lower the minimum usage amount and raise the rate. Tuesday's meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Madras City Hall. Residents are welcome to attend and comment on the proposal.