40-unit apparment complex "1,000% guaranteed” this project is not HUD -- Water and Sewer rate increase

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On Monday, the Board of Aldermen held their monthly meeting.  The board approved a rate increase on water and sewer usage.  The rate increase will go into affect on the January billing cycle.

Additional information was provided in regard to the development of a 40-unit complex on the property at Stonehurst Village.  A representative from the developer said, “1,000% guarantee” this project is not another HUD.

Apartment Complex Development

Earlier this month, a special meeting was held that approved the development of a 40-unit apartment complex on property at Stonehurst Village.  The developer is Miller O’Reilly.  Denise Mathisen, developer representative, told city officials they would be applying for Housing Tax Credits through Missouri Housing Development Commission; if approved construction should begin in May of 2012.

Alderman Bell commented about the city’s bad experience with HUD housing and does not want that to occur again.  Mathisen stated that it is “1,000% guaranteed” this project is not HUD.

Dorothy Schowe asked if we were in need of rental housing.  Elisha Hoerstkamp, realtor, said she has “never seen a stronger demand” for rental housing.  Mathisen said the market study demonstrates a strong market growth in this area.

Mayor Panhorst said he wanted to continue to live in New Haven, and said he would be run out of town if the city approved another “HUD.” But he said this is not another HUD and felt it would be good for New Haven.

Water and Sewer Rate Increase

Earlier this year in Sept. the board passed a water/sewer usage rate increase, however the following month the city decided to repeal the increase without having a public hearing first.  This is not required, but the board felt it was only appropriate that taxpayers have an opportunity to express their opinion.

City Administrator, Steve Roth noted in the administrator report that at the current rates, the city is essentially running at break-even with little if any of the reserve funds to draw on, and no funding for major improvement or maintenance projects.  The current balance of the sewer operation and maintenance fund is $18,494 as of Oct. 31, and the repair and replacement account had $28,557.

The city passed an ordinance to increase the minimum usage charge for in-town residences from six dollars to eight dollars, volume usage charge from $2.46 per thousand gallons to $3.09.  If volume usage exceeds one hundred thousand gallons the current rate of $2.46 will increase to $2.71.  Residents who live outside the city limits will pay a minimum usage charge of twelve dollars, $4.64 per thousand, and usage over one hundred thousand will be at a rate of $4.07.  The new rates will go into affect on the January billing cycle.

Ward Boundary Lines Amended

In last month's meeting it was discussed to amend the current boundary lines for Ward 1 and 2 to keep both ward’s population similar in numbers.  Roth noted that there are no particular requirements that the boundary be amended, however the City Attorney felt it would be good practice to review the boundary after each census.

It was approved to adjust the boundary line that would add an estimated 97 residence to Ward 2.  Roth said, “This would likely add a few more residence to Ward 2 in the short-term.” Roth expects Ward 1 to equal out since the majority of new residential construction is likely to occur in Ward 1.

No Parking Zone on Washington Street

The city passed an ordinance to make the east side of Washington Street a no parking zone.  The purpose relates to how narrow the street is and when cars are parked on both sides of the street it makes it very difficult and sometimes impossible for the Fire Department or EMS to access the street, along with trash trucks and snow plows.