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Water and sewer rates could be going up in Mason City


This news story was published on January 22, 2019.
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MASON CITY – The Mason City council met for a work session at City Hall on January 17 and discussed the need to possibly raise water and sewer rates.

According to meeting minutes, Finance Director Kevin Jacobson broke the discussion down into funds (Capital improvements by fund yearly comparison, General Projects Fund, Storm Sewer Fund, Ambulance, Sanitation Fund, Water Fund, Sewer Fund, Local Option Sales and Service Tax, Road Use Tax Fund, G.O. Bonds, Outside Funding Sources). Citizens later learned in an update from Mayor Bill Schickel that this year’s budget is about $90 million with 40% of that going to capitol improvements, including flood mitigation through work on underground sewer system. To pay for these projects, Jacobson stated at the work session that increases would apply for Enterprise Funds:

$1.19 water increase
$0.43 sewer
$0.55 sanitation
$1.00 storm sewer

This is a $3.17 a month Utility Rate & Levy Increase or a yearly increase of $38.01 for the average homeowner

Jacobson advised the minimum bill for an average homeowner was in the $60.00 a month range so this was roughly an overall increase of 5%.

Again at the meeting, Schickel asked how Mason City compared to other cities with Jacobson stating our Sanitation fees were really low and we were in the 40% range for sewer and storm sewer. He stated the water rates were in the 65% range based on other cities.

The budget could be adopted by early March.

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25 Responses to Water and sewer rates could be going up in Mason City

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 28, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    MC is nothing but a sewage pit any way.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 24, 2019 at 8:51 am

    I question the cost comparison to “other cities” compared to what Des Moines or Minneapolis or other cities of our population size within Iowa?

    Bill Schickel has done nothing but raise the rates for absolutely everything since taken over as Mayor. He has not taken any consideration of Mason City being an elderly population on fixed low income. Bill what happened to the money that was already paid to pave Highland Park?

    I love how we are starting the ice arena without the secured funding for the hotel in place as was sold to voters of Mason City. This shame of a deal— bend over Mason City citizens and spread’em wide.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 23, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    If they can prevent the sewage backups that I had last summer then I’m all for it.

  4. Avatar

    Observer the Original Reply Report comment

    January 23, 2019 at 4:15 am

    While other spending is suspect, the cost for basic services appear to be reasonable. I took a look around at other cities published rates in Iowa, and found a lot of them to have fees above what Mason City charges.

    Some towns have very specific (and some strict) rules about garbage collection for example. Some require “city” trash bins or carts, others make you purchase “city” trash bags. The fees ranged from $21 (Muscatine) to $9.60 (Mason City) per per month – minimum.

    Mason City, like other old small towns, has a lot of aging infrastructure. One example I saw was the storm sewer along US 65 at 5th Street S. It was not a tile, but limestone chunks mortared together, and has probably been there for 100 years.

    Another problem with storm sewers, one that residents cause, is leaves and lawn clippings dumped into the streets. They create more work for city workers having to clear intakes for example. In all the places I have lived, it is more prevalent in Mason City. Besides, it makes the neighborhood look like a ghetto.

    I am all for keeping fees as low as they can while maintaining what we have, and not spending for unnecessary items. But it is a fact of life, goods and services will continue to cost more over time, and someone needs to pay for it.

    • Avatar

      ‘Nonymus Reply Report comment

      January 23, 2019 at 7:53 am

      If infrastructure is an issue our tax money would be better spent on that instead of ice arenas we can’t own and will be owned by a slum dog millionaire that doesn’t pay his property taxes!

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 23, 2019 at 1:54 am

    The evil city will die like Sodom and G… in the Bible. Mason City has always been evil.

  6. Avatar

    Out of Control Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    City council and county council is out of control. A pit of vipers. Time to get the mongoose in there and eat them up. You’ll find Callanan, Bookmeyer and other underhanded officials having lunch at the Quarry on taxpayer money? You voted for these underhanded dealings.

  7. Avatar

    The people are stupid Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    You stupid idiots elected the morons in city council. Now deal with it! You stupid towns people brought this chaos into your life by ejecting these useless fools – why are you complaining??

    • Avatar

      ‘Nonymus Reply Report comment

      January 23, 2019 at 7:58 am

      When idiots are the only choice on the ballot, that’s what gets elected. Try to pick the lessor of the evils.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    This is just the tip of the iceberg !! They will go after all possibilities to fund the Downtown Project !! I see a Wheel Tax in the future. Some cities have used this. You are taxed for each tire on each vehicle you own. Wait for it !

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 22, 2019 at 8:53 pm

      How does a water and sewer rate increase have anything to do with the multi purpose arena?!?! I’d be more upset with area farmers who drive up the cost of municipal water treatment to remove their nitrates.

      • Avatar

        Observer the Original Reply Report comment

        January 23, 2019 at 9:45 pm

        A suburb in Chicago has on it’s web site the statistic that urban areas pollute waterways from storm water runoff three times as much as rural areas.

        It seemed logical as in urban areas, there is no where for storm water to soak into the ground. Oils, heavy metals, and other chemicals collect in the sewers and are dumped directly into the local waterways.

        Unlike small towns in rural areas, that Metropolitan area has the capacity to capture large amounts of storm water, and store it so later, it can be treated before being released into waterways (Deep Tunnel).

        Also, many municipalities require the installation of flapper valves so that sanitary and storm water (each has it’s own tile) cannot back up into a dwelling.

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    They pull this crap all the time to finance their pet projects. Increase rates and then don’t do their job maintaining the city.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 22, 2019 at 6:26 pm

      Get used to it. Until this town develops a pro-growth attitude, our declining population will continue to increase the tax burden to pay for our infrastructure.

      Maybe the naysayers should have thought about the tax issues before they turned away a 2000 employee processing plant because of their fear of Messicans.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 23, 2019 at 8:50 am

        Gotta agree with you on the employment issue. They listened to a bunch of radicals from Des Moines and screwed our city.

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    If only there was a new, large commercial user of water and sewer that could pay into the utility thereby reducing costs to residences.

    Something like a slaughter plant that would also employ thousands and create opportunities for ancillary businesses to service said plant.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 22, 2019 at 4:33 pm

      Well folks for you all that voted this buffon gang into office and voted YES for the new arena/hotel bend over and take it like a dog,, Us that voted NO oh well we will get the same treatment. Lets all pretend that it feels good to get screwed!!!!

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 22, 2019 at 5:40 pm

        I didn’t vote for a hotel. Neither did you. You don’t get to vote on private investment.

        Gawd this site finds the dumbest of the dumb. Face palm.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 22, 2019 at 6:01 pm

          Are you really that stupid?

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            January 22, 2019 at 6:28 pm

            Says the guy who thinks you get to vote on private investment?!?!

  11. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Jump ship before all of your home values drop like the population.

  12. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    We have a mall to pay for.

  13. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 11:24 am

    Ouch. Already seems as though we pay a lot.

  14. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 11:16 am

    How much money have we wasted on that library roof that was supposed to be fixed years ago and just recently had to fixed again?

  15. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Say it isn’t so.