Wiggins Town Council delays rate increase

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From The Fort Morgan Times (John Brennan):

The Wiggins Town Council decided at its meeting Wednesday to delay a planned rate increase from $36 a month to $56 a month per household…

Town Administrator Bill Rogers said the town could impose the first $20 of the increase as soon as construction begins, or delay any increase until the project is completed. Councilman Vince Longcor said he felt the town should wait to impose even a partial rate hike until the town starts work like digging trenches or laying pipe. “There’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes (on the water project), but for a lot of people seeing is believing,” Longcor said. Rogers said he expects to be able to start construction on the project as soon as the town receives a letter of authorization from USDA Rural Development, which is loaning money for the project. That letter should come shortly after the first of the year, Rogers said. The town also decided to finalize a contract with IFE, the engineering firm doing preliminary design work on the water project. Town attorney Melinda Culley told the council she understood that the design work had been approved, but no funding had been appropriated yet. She said state law requires that funding be approved before authorizing any work, so Culley recommended that the town either hold off on approving any design work, or only authorize work for which it had funding available. Rogers said the town had about $100,000 that it could dedicate for the design work, and the expense would be reimbursable through the USDA. A representative of IFE said the agreement to be approved Wednesday would allow the firm to do some initial geotechnical and surveying work, for which there is some urgency because the town can only bore under the Bijou ditch when it is not filled with water. Rogers said that leaves the town just a “very short window” in January or February to complete that work, or face delaying the project for an entire year.

The council unanimously approved the agreement with IFE and the appropriation of the $100,000, with the understanding that it would be reimbursed by USDA for whatever portion of that money is spent.

More Wiggins coverage here.

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