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City Council reconsiders rate hikes

The Glencoe City Council voted Tuesday, Feb. 16, to freeze the storm water rate increase made at its previous meeting in order to further research the business storm rates.
At its Feb. 1 meeting, the Council voted to raise the rates from $5 to $7.50 in 2016 and $10 in 2017 in order to pay for the Northeast Drainage project and an additional position in the streets department.
“We may have jumped the gun,” City Administrator Mark Larson said.
Larson explained the city would like to have more time to research the commercial and industrial side of the fee, which is applied differently than residential fees. Each commercial or industrial company’s fee is set by a factor that determines its residential equivalency. The city wants to research if applying a higher residency equivalency factor would generate additional income needed for the Northeast Drainage project and position.  
If this is the case, Larson said residential rates could potentially go down.
Council Member Allen Robeck said the city should be careful with commercial rates.
“If it goes up it may be hard for small businesses,” Robeck said.
Larson explained the change, if implemented, would not have a dramatic effect on small businesses because their residential equivalency is small.
The motion passed 4-1, with Robeck voting no.

For more from the meeting, see the Feb. 24 print edition of The Chronicle.