Utility rate increases and land acquisition highlight City Commission Action Session

Utility rate increases and land acquisition highlight City Commission Action Session Tagan Trahoon/KVOE News

Rate increases will be coming next year after approval by the Emporia City Commission during their action session Wednesday afternoon.

The approved increases will include an eight percent increase to water rates, 10 percent on water waste and five percent for solid waste. The total cost increase will be roughly two dollars per fund for a total of six dollars per every 5,000 gallons of water per average household.

City Commissioner Becky Smith explains the increases were needed as the city has operated "below" for the past several years.


Trash rates at the Emporia landfill will also see a slight increase from $8 to $10. The raise in fees will also help to offset costs for the Emporia Public Works department for repair and maintenance work, which included several water line breaks this past summer.

The ordinance was approved unanimously and will go into effect January 1st, 2019.

In other business, Commissioners approved paperwork which will allow the city to purchase two parcels of land, totaling 18 acres and 3.8 acres, for an expansion project at the Emporia airport. Work will be done to expand a runway on the north end of the airport to meet new mandates from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Public Works Director Frank Abart explains the project is mandatory in order for the city to meet compliance standards.


The total purchase cost is estimated to be $446,200. The city of Emporia will only be responsible for covering 10 percent of that cost thanks to a 90 percent Federal Match.

The next step in the process will be for the City of Emporia and the Federal Aviation Administration to finalize the approved documents. Currently there is no word on when the project would begin.

Also during the session Commissioners approved a contract with Emporia Main Street for the appropriation of funds and contracts for the upcoming fiscal year. A bid from the Parks Department was also approved to purchase an F-350 truck in the total of $37,832, and Commissioners appointed Jay Patel, Allison Jensen and Greg Jordan to the Convention and Visitors Board.

The City Commission will hold its next regular meeting Monday, Nov. 19, which has been moved from its original date Wednesday, Nov. 21st, due to travel for Thanksgiving.

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