The Ketchikan City Council meets in regular session Thursday, and members have a full plate of issues to discuss. As we reported yesterday, the Council will decide whether to maintain a 5-percent, across-the-board budget cut after seeing how that reduction will affect various city departments.
In addition to that, the Council will decide whether to move toward 100-percent design for the planned adjustment to the city’s new water treatment plant.
The new plant combines chloramination with UV light to disinfect water, and was built to reduce the byproducts created with chlorine-only disinfection. The new system didn’t reduce those byproducts enough, and the city is now working on an adjustment to that system in hopes of bringing the levels down below federal requirements.
The adjustment is part of a compliance order from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The final-design contract with consultants CH2M-Hill will cost the city an additional $329,000. The initial design phase cost $75,000. According to the city, CH2M-Hill representatives will attend Thursday’s meeting to discuss the project.
Also Thursday, the Council will vote on an ordinance that would increase water rates by 4-percent for most customers. The ordinance also would introduce a metered billing system for fish processors, leading to the equivalent of an 8-percent rate increase for that industry.
Thursday’s vote will be the first of two before the new water rates system would become official. If adopted, the new monthly rate for individual residences would go up nearly $2, from $46.34 to $48.19.
The Council also will vote on an ordinance raising wastewater rates by 8 percent. For residential customers, that will mean their monthly bill will go up $3.43, from $42.85 to $46.28.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.