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Talkeetna water and sewer utility suggests water meters to be installed at businesses

by Diana Haecker ~ February 10th, 2011

As the Talkeetna Water and Sewer board continues to struggle with balancing their budget, a new proposal was put before businesses who are hooked up to the water and sewer system.Jim Kellard with the utility’s board of directors said that a letter went out to commercial businesses in Talkeetna to ask them to install a water meter. The meters would be supplied and owned by the utility, but the businesses would have to pay for the installation. For now, the proposal would only be applicable to businesses, not residential customers.

Currently, meters are installed at some businesses, but not all are in working order. The utility charges a $125 flat fee for the first 8,000 gallons of water to commercial businesses. Jim Kellard said that the finance committee proposed to charge an additional $5 per 1,000 gallons that are used beyond the 8,000 gallons included in the flat rate. He said projections are that this could bring in a conservatively estimated $20,000 to the utility per year. Kellard said that if everybody town would have a meter, it would provide for more equitable rate across the whole board of water and sewer users.

In the February meeting of the Talkeetna water and sewer board, the board again postponed to vote on a resolution that dealt with a proposed change of the seasonal connection fee. The vote is now set for the June meeting. The resolution says that seasonal residents and businesses can have one free disconnect and re-connect per year but while disconnected the customer will pay the full sewer and water rate. Currently, seasonal residents pay a disconnect and reconnect fee, but pay a minimal amount throughout the winter.

Kellard also reports that the arsenic water treatment plant is installed, but is still undergoing tests and is not yet circulating treated water to customers.

Kellard said that the utility board currently has only three board members and that two are needed to have a fully operational board. Kellard urged that interested Talkeetna residents apply with the Mat-Su Borough to fill these two board positions.

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