John Day residents will see small increases in their water and sewer bills in 2017.
The John Day City Council voted unanimously to approve resolutions increasing the cost of both services by $1 each to combat inflation and depreciation of the infrastructure during a Dec. 13 meeting. At previous meetings, councilors discussed solutions to the problem that the amount currently charged is too low for the city to qualify for state grants, or even loans, to make needed repairs or improvements.
One of the resolutions also contained an agreement to establish a rate of $6 per 1,000 gallons of water provided to Canyon City.
At the meeting, John Day City Manager Nick Green said declining population is one of the biggest problems facing John Day and surrounding cities. He suggested the city research utilizing unused water rights and infrastructure to attract growth. Green said the city could “use water to attract thirsty industries.” The councilors reached a consensus to begin researching options.
The council also discussed partnering with Oregon Solutions to work towards a community-enhancing project. The partnership would include a two-day meeting between community leaders and Oregon Solutions to choose a project benefiting the community. The cost of consultation would be $9,800, a cost which Green proposed splitting between the city, county and school district.
The council also:
• approved five-year interagency agreements to provide water and sewage treatment services to Canyon City.
• adopted a resolution to authorize expenditure of a FEMA assistance to firefighters grant.
• accepted the 2016 audit for the city of John Day done by Guyer and Associates that showed no major problems.
• approved a motion to allow the city manager to live outside of John Day city limits.