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Columbia City Council to discuss solar project, Hinkson Creek, sewer cost increase, Flat Branch trunk line

Monday, September 1, 2014 | 11:28 p.m. CDT; updated 6:35 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 2, 2014

COLUMBIA — Next year's city budget, along with the utility and parking fee increases it calls for, will be discussed Tuesday night at the Columbia City Council meeting. The council will also vote on a new solar power project, and it will hear reports on the Hinkson Creek cleanup, sewer problems near Flat Branch and long-term sewer funding.

Utility increases

If you go

Agenda: The Columbia City Council will discuss funding a $600,000 solar panel project, a Hinkson Creek water quality assessment, sanitary sewer utility cost increases and rain water infiltration reduction in Flat Branch Basin D.

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: City Council chambers, Daniel Boone City Building



Under the proposed budget, sewer fees would increase about 6 percent. Electric rates for residential consumers would increase 1.4 percent.

Parking

The city is considering shifting parking meter enforcement an hour later to run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., raising the monthly rate of parking garage passes by $5 and increasing parking ticket fines.

Solar

The council will vote on funding a solar energy pilot project at 1917 W. Ash St. The ordinance asks for an additional $500,000 for design, materials and construction for the project. Annual maintenance is estimated to be between $2,000 and $5,000.

The 1.25 acre field already houses 11.7 kilowatts of panels that were installed by Dow Chemical in a cooperative with the city. The new proposal adds an additional 225 kilowatts of panels, which would produce 250 to 300 more megawatt hours of energy each year.

Hinkson Creek

The council will hear a Missouri Department of Natural Resources study that states seven of 11 sampling sites on Hinkson Creek are fully supporting aquatic life. The study didn't find any distinct differences between urban and rural areas in terms of aquatic life.

Flat Branch

The council will hear a report about how recent work has improved the Flat Branch trunk line's infiltration and inflow issues.

Sewer funding

A study on sewer maintenance costs will also be presented. There will be two reasons for rate increases, operational and capital costs. The increases for capital costs are aimed to cover the cost of sanitary and sewer improvements promised in the November 2013 bond issue.

Supervising  editor is  Adam Aton.


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