Coal Grove passes municipal user fee

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Coal Grove residents will soon see a new charge on their water bills.

The village council passed an ordinance Tuesday establishing a $5 municipal user fee.

According to the ordinance, the fee is to be paid by each residential household, including rental units, and each non-residential customer of the Village of Coal Grove and would be reflected on their utility bills.

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The ordinance also states that the fee would be used for “capital improvements and current and future debt service necessary to safely and efficiently operate the utility department of the Village of Coal Grove.”

The fee was proposed by the council in order to repay an EPA loan that the village is applying for to replace water lines and make water plant upgrades.

Clerk Deborah Fields said at a previous council meeting that the village would be awarded $490,000 if they can complete the application process with something in place to show that the money could be repaid.

“We have to have the funding in place before we can be approved for the EPA loan,” Fields said. She said the application deadline is Nov. 1.

Fields also said that 40 percent of the $490,000 would be a grant, while the other 60 percent would be a loan. The loan would be a 30-year loan with a 2 percent interest rate.

“It will go into effect the next billing cycle,” said Fields of the fee. She said the next bill will be mailed out on Oct. 31 and be due on Nov. 15.

“I think it’s a necessity,” said Mayor Larry McDaniel. “(It’s) something we have to have to make improvements to our water and sewer. I just hope our public is understanding.”

McDaniel also said that the fee, which doesn’t have a set and date, would remain until the EPA loan is paid off.

The first project that the loan would go toward is replacing the main water line that runs from the water plant to the water tank as well as filter replacement.

Engineer Paul Amburgey was at Tuesday’s meeting and said that bid advertisement for the job would be in December and construction could begin in the spring of 2011.