Dowagiac City Council approves utility hike

Published 9:16 am Wednesday, January 29, 2014

After a unanimous vote by the officials present, the Dowagiac City Council approved increase to the city’s electric and sewage rates during their meeting Monday night.

As proposed by their last meeting two weeks ago, the city will increase the cost of the city’s power by 1.75 percent and the city’s sewer rate by 2 percent. The water utility rates will remain the same.

The increased rates are the first adjustments the city has made to the price of its utility services in two years. The council modified the its sewer rate in June 2012, and did the same to its electric the following month. The city’s water rates have remained the same since November of 2010.

The decision to increase the rates was made in order to keep the services financially stable in 2014, according to the office of Dowagiac City Manager Kevin Anderson.

Also approved by the council on Monday:

• A resolution to approve the 2014 budget for the Dowagiac Dial-a-Ride Transportation service. During their last meeting, the DART Local Advisory Committee recommended a budget of $201,264.30 for council approval, a decrease of nearly $3,000 from last year. The city will also apply for state and federal aid to help fund the budget, with DART projecting for $72,978.44 worth of state funds and $32,202.29 of federal funds for this year.

• A resolution of intent to sell a lot of city-owned property located at 317 Pokagon Street to Trevor Nilson for $300. The city will make final approval of the sale during their Feb. 24 meeting, as they must wait 21-days for public inspection of the deal, as per the city charter.

• Two resolutions that approved of the Dowagiac Ice Time Festival, which takes place on Feb. 1, and the Memorial Day Parade, which takes place May 26.

• A resolution to pay the city’s outstanding bills and payroll, totaling $297,098.82.