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Water rates to see slight increase

West Fargo residential and commercial users will be seeing a minimal water rate increase the first of the year.

West Fargo City Commissioners placed on first reading Monday night a change in the ordinance relating to water rates and charges. The current minimum service charge of $7 for the first 2,000 gallons of water used will remain the same; while the rate for additional water usage over the 2,000 gallon base amount will be seeing an increase, going from $3.50 to $4 Jan. 1, 2008, per 1,000 gallons of water used. That fee will go up again Jan. 1, 2009 from $4 to $4.50 per 1,000 gallons of water used over the 2,000 amount.

This will equate to an approximate $4 average increase for users that go over the minimum. The sanitation rates are not being affected and will remain the same.

The $.50 cent surcharge currently being collected for funding for the City's vector control program will also continue to be added to the water bills.

City Administrator Jim Brownlee said this slight increase being coordinated with 2008 budget talks will generate approximately $750,000 in revenues that will be used to cover new debt service payments for revenue bonds used to fund replacement of the city's sanitary lift stations.

In other action, the Commission:

-approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of improvement warrants and exchanging them for $6,345,000 refunding improvement bonds of 2007, Series B, to Citigroup at an interest rate of 4.12 percent for the next 15 years;

-okayed a Conditional Use Permit for a detached horse barn to Steve and Alexa Biegler at 680 42nd Ave. W.;

-gave final plat approval to Kevin Christianson, for Drei Sons 1st Addition, the former Trail King, Red River Manufacturing site, for the replat of property for sale and development. The applicant wants to subdivide the 15 lots into five lots for resale of the property located on the corner of 8th St. and 2nd Ave. W.

-offered final plat approval to Midcontinent Communications for Midcontinent 1st Addition, a subdivision located on the south side of East Main Avenue and 45th Street. The applicant is proposing to purchase a portion of the property which has not been platted, using a portion of it for a customer service center which would include an office type use as well as a service center;

-gave their approval for a used car business in addition to direct TV sales at the former Dino's Road Service and Repair site on East Main Avenue. Sean McAllister told commissioners he would have a minimal amount of vehicles on the site and also provided assurances that he would maintain a well-kept site.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 1, in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.