Salida: City Council okays water and sewer rate task force

Salida Colorado early 1900s
Salida Colorado early 1900s

From The Mountain Mail (J.D. Thomas):

Salida City Council agreed to form a task force to evaluate the city’s 2014 rate and fee schedule for sewer and water and to review the city’s lump-sum merit pay plan for 2014. The decision came after a revision and a tie-breaking vote during the council meeting Tuesday. Council members Mike Bowers, Hal Brown and Melodee Hallett voted against forming a task force, while Tom Yerkey, Eileen Rogers and Keith Baker voted in favor. Mayor Jim Dickson cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of forming the committee.

Brown said he voted against formation of the committee because the scope of the task force was limited to review of sewer and water fees and the employee merit pay plan.

“It really ought to be broader. Perhaps council will allow us to look at more items on the budget after we look at these two specific items,” Brown said. “I’m going to work hard, as much as I can, with our limited scope,”

Before council voted on the matter, Brown raised questions about City Administrator Dara MacDonald and Finance Director Jan Schmidt serving as voting members. Council agreed to a revision making MacDonald and Schmidt nonvoting members.

“I was worried the makeup of the task force would be skewed,” Brown said. “I know Dara and Jan both worked very hard on the 2014 budget. I felt they may have a vested interest to keep the budget the way it was adopted.”

Brown will be part of the five-member committee along with other voting members Rogers and City Treasurer Cheryl Brown-Kovacic.

“I look forward to working with the city administrator and finance director,” Brown said Thursday. “They are going to be valuable resources to help the task force.”

The idea for a task force was formed during the Dec. 5 city council meeting following Brown’s questions about the city’s rate and fee schedule for sewer and water and a review of the city’s lump-sum merit pay plan for 2014.

Rogers said Thursday that she does not want to comment on the task force until March.
Brown-Kovacic could not be reached for comment.

More infrastructure coverage here.

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