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Town Hall Meeting Monday to discuss proposed rate increase

Davis residents with questions regarding the proposed rate increase for water/sewer can attend at Town Hall meeting Monday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.
Davis City Manger Andy Holland said that this meeting is informational and educational in its purpose only. Holland said that residents will be asked to share their desires and concerns with the council before they make the vote on the pending rate increases.
Holland will entertain questions regarding proposed increases and impacts to the City of Davis. Right now, he invites all residents to talk to their councilmen. He said that will help streamline the process and make sure questions are covered at the meeting.
Before the meeting, it is suggested that residents watch the Jan. 10 council meeting through the 1 hour and 8 minute mark. This is the initial presentation given regarding the water/sewer rate increase with the representative from the Oklahoma Rural Water Association assisting with Holland.
The proposed water/sewer rate increases will take place at some point and time with the upcoming $14 million Waste Water Treatment plant being slated to be built.
Why? The Waste Water Treatment plant has to be paid for and the Oklahoma Rural Water Board is watching and waiting for this rate increase to take place. Why? When the City of Davis is not going into debt just making water, they can get a loan for the Waste Water Treatment Plant. The Oklahoma Rural Water Board is the agency that will secure funding for the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Utility revenues and sales tax support the city, property taxes do not. “If I can pay for the utilities and some of the road maintenance, I’m not talking about road improvement, I’m talking about maintenance,” Holland said. “Maintenance is keeping it status quo. I just want to maintain. Utilities should pay for streets. We have to use the water rate money to pay for our utilities.”
Holland and the city council want to see revenue from Turner Falls be used for city improvements.
He’s already had engineers look at Sixth Street, from Benton to Allen Streets, which will cost $2.2 million for the project. Holland said that the street is longer than most and wider in some places. He said the city will put in curbs and apron drives and will replace the utilities on that street. “Everything went up,” Holland said. “Labor costs, material costs. Just getting the design started was $300,000.”
Holland said that he will not award major improvement projects using money from Turner Falls Park for city infrastructure improvements. He also notes that money is moved out of Turner Falls Park each month to support the city.
Holland knows that the rate increase has the elderly and those on fixed income anxious. He said that is the reason he reached out to the Oklahoma Rural Water Association asking for help with numbers for this project. Holland said that they used “Davis data” for this project. “Our cost was our actual cost for a 12 month period,” he said. “I gave them actual bills. We would rather phase this increase in over three years.”
This meeting will be live streamed on the City of Davis, Okla. Facebook page Monday night. The council chambers is located at 308 S. Third Street.

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