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56 <br /> MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING AND PUBLIC HEARING ON WATER AND SEWER <br /> RATES, LEESBURG TOWN COUNCIL, APRIL 12, 1978. <br /> • <br /> A regular meeting of the Leesburg Town Council was held in the <br /> Council Chambers, 10 West Loudoun Street, Leesburg, Virginia, on <br /> April 12, 1978. The meeting was called to order by the Mayor at <br /> 7.:40 P.M. , with the invocation :being offered by Mr. Herrell, and <br /> followed with the Salute to the Flag._ Present were: Mayor Mary <br /> Anne Newman, Councilmembers Glen P. Cole, Stanley D. Merrell, -.Jr. , <br /> James A. Rock, C. Terry Titus and John W. Tolbert, Jr. ; also Town <br /> Manager John Niccolls , Assistant to the Manager Jeffrey H. Minor, <br /> Director of Engineering Andrew G. Shope and Town Attorney George <br /> M. Martin. Absent from the meeting was Councilmember Charles E. <br /> Bange. <br /> The minutes of the regular meeting of March 22, 1978 were approve <br /> as written. <br /> • <br /> Public Hearing on Proposed Water and Sewer Rates. <br /> A public hearing on proposed water and sewer rates' was held, ' with <br /> the Clerk reading the Notice of public hearing." <br /> • <br /> Mr. Charles Bos of 55 N. King Street said there is no question <br /> that the rate increase is necessary due to changing costs in the last <br /> ten years. People should get used to the idea of increasing costs - <br /> whether it be new wells or going to the Potomac for water, it will be <br /> more expensive. He felt that perhaps computer billing might be a <br /> way to remind people that they must still conserve water; also, to <br /> determine how many people in a family, etc.' He also suggested that <br /> the Town might print some signs' to •bedisplayed in the kitchen or <br /> bathroom of homes to encourage the conservation of water. People <br /> are using more water now because there is no constant pressure to <br /> conserve. He was in favor of an excess use charge for those families <br /> using in excess of a normal amount. Mayor Newman said it is possible <br /> to program a message on the computer bills. Mr. Bos suggested that <br /> such a message might spell out the cost per day, 'as is done on elec- <br /> tric bills. <br /> • <br /> Mr. C. A. En lish Cole asked why there is no reason given for the <br /> rate increase. yor ewman said there are a number of improvements <br /> that have to be made or are being made to both the water and sewer <br /> systems : (1 ) Standby generators must be installed at the wells <br /> (this has been mandated by the State Health Department) ; (2) A gravity <br /> separator was installed at the Myers Well to eliminate sand in the <br /> water; (3) we are in the process of installing six new water mains <br /> in the system that will help alleviate low pressure problems ; (4) <br /> the Hospital standtank needs to be painted and repaired. You are <br /> talking about roughly half a million dollars on those items alone. <br /> Also, there is constant maintenanceand repair work; hardly a day <br /> goes by without a water main break somewhere. Sewer lines need TV <br /> inspection to detect leaks and infiltration. She pointed out that <br /> there has not been a rate increase in ten years'. _'Mr. Cole felt that <br /> these items should be covered by the rates because this is a con- <br /> tinuing thing. Mr. Cole asked what the flat rates of $1. 50• and $6.08 <br /> are for. Mayor Newman said the $1. 50 is actual cost for billing per <br /> water user; the $6.08 is intended to be used for system improvements. <br /> Mr. Cole felt that this is a tax increase, rather than a utility in- <br /> crease - it puts a much greater burden on the poor man with a large <br /> family than if you raise taxes• in the first place. He noted, after <br /> looking at the budgets for the last two years , that roughly one- <br /> quarter million dollars. has been "siphoned off" and used for various <br /> things. in the General Fund. It would seem that, if you can take this <br /> half million dollars out of the utility. fund in two years (and this <br /> is. about the _amount of revenue this rate increase would generate) , <br /> it looks like a tax increase without it being so. Therefore, the <br /> people outside of town would be paying taxes to the Town, in effect, ' <br /> ' and he didn' t think they would take very kindly to this. He was not <br /> sure that the Code of Virginia permits transferring and intermingling <br /> of funds to spend for everything. The purpose of availability fees was <br /> to assess the man just moving here for using a system that already <br /> existed. At the same time, he is also going to be paying on the debt <br /> service for the rest of his life, so he is almost paying twice. Mr. <br /> Cole suggested that this be simplified by charging everything in one <br /> rate, so that the user knows what he is actually paying. . He asked how <br /> much+revenue this tax increase will generate in the utility system. <br />