By: Amy Oakley
Carter County Times
The Olive Hill City Council met last week on Tuesday in regular session to hold the first reading of utility ordinances, along with accepting the municipal road aid resolution.
Due to extreme hardships in utility expenses, the city deemed it necessary to increase charges on rates and services. Customers should expect to see an increase in charge starting during the new fiscal year in these utility categories: electric, water, gas, sewer and sanitation.
Councilmember Chris Bledsoe started off the utility ordinances by reading the electric and water portions to the council.
“An ordinance relating to the city of Olive Hill’s electric utility service and to amend ordinance 2013-03 whereas an increase in the expense associated with operation of the city’s electric utility service has created a hardship upon the city. Whereas the city council deems it necessary to amend ordinance 2013-03 in order to collect sufficient revenue to adequately operate its utilities. Therefore, be it ordained by the city council of the city Olive Hill amends ordinance 2012-03 as follows,” Bledsoe read.
The rate of service charge for residential electric service in any single or multi family dwelling will change to $17.50 for each month of electric service and the energy charge for all kilowatt meter during the billing month is $.10795 per kilowatt hour.
The industrial electric service (all three phase customers) service charge is $30 per month and energy charge for all kilowatt meter during the billing month is .10385 per kilowatt hour.
For yard lighting services, the monthly charges for security lights shall be as follows: a 150-watt light is $17 per month if the utility pole is furnished by customer, the same 150-watt light is $19 per month if utility pole is furnished by the city. A 400-watt light is $26 per month if the utility pole is furnished by customer and $29 per month if the utility pole is furnished by city.
Bledsoe also read the ordinance amending water rate charges.
“An ordinance repealing ordinance number 2020-09 in providing for water rates and charges. Whereas an increase in the expense of operating utilities has created a hardship upon the city, whereas it is deemed necessary to revise existing water rates and charges to water customers in order to properly operate its utilities and whereas in order to accomplish forgoing it is desirable and necessary to amend the city’s ordinance setting for the rates and charges,” Bledsoe said, the following changes will be put into effect.
A surcharge of $1.11 will be billed per customer for Kentucky infrastructure authority service. This surcharge shall be removed upon payoff of the loan.
Deposits for water service will be required for consumers applying for water service from the city of Olive Hill “to secure payment of the water bill.”
Required deposits will be as follows: residential landowner $50, residential renter/tenant $100, small commercial $200, large commercial $500, industrial $1,000. These fees only effect new connections.
Residential tap fees will be $500 for three-quarter inch taps in town and $700 for out of town. Any tap one inch or greater will be billed at actual cost for materials, plus labor.
Furthermore, if any utility bill is not paid in full on the dates due on the 15
th of each month, a 10% penalty will be added after 10 a.m. the following workday, and the account or accounts will be deemed delinquent. Delinquent utility accounts shall be disconnected beginning the 26th day of the month.
Next in line was gas rates. Along with electric and water charges increasing, the gas ordinance will see some increase as well due to expense hardship within the city. Ordinance number 2023-03 amends monthly rates of gas bills so they will be determined based upon two separate findings; the cost to purchase gas and the operation maintenance expenses. The price to purchase gas changes each month.
The operation maintenance portion cost inside the city for a residential charge is $15.05, home usage is $4.75 per 1,000 cubic feet. Customer charge outside the city is $18.05, and all usage is $4.75 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Gas deposit fees for residential customers will be $175, for renter/tenants $200, small commercial deposits will be $300, and for large commercial/industrial $1,000.
Sewer rates and charges went next and were amended as follows; basic sewer charge per user per month shall be $18 for zero to 2,000 gallons used. Basic sewer charge per user outside city limits is $21 per month for zero to 2,000 gallons used. Additional usage in excess of 2,000 gallons shall be programmed at $8.50 per the amount of gallons used.
The final utility ordinance of the night was sanitation garbage collection rates. Ordinance number 2011-14 was amended fees for sanitation services so that residential customers inside the city will pay $18 per month, and residential customers outside the city $21 dollars per month. Commercial customers without dumpsters will pay a flat rate of $25 inside the city and $30 outside the city.
Customers with two cubic yard dumpster in town will pay $30, and outside of town $35, four cubic yard dumpster in town $50, four cubic yard dumpster outside town $60, six cubic yard dumpster in town $70, six cubic yard dumpster outside town $75, eight cubic yard dumpster in town $90, and eight cubic yard dumpster outside town $100.
Institutional customers will pay $625 per month.
Residential customers will be permitted a maximum of six bags picked up per week. There will be an additional charge of $2 for each additional bag.
Commercial customers without dumpsters shall be charged the commercial flat rate times the number of pickups required per week.
All customers whether residential, commercial, or institutional shall use 30-gallon garbage bags or less.
The City Council held a special meeting later in the week to discuss the ordinances once more and passed them on the second reading.
In addition to the ordinance readings, the city council passed the municipal road aid resolution. The resolution allows the city to accept the money provided by the state to cities for their roads. The council passed it unanimously on Tuesday night.
There were no department reports from police, fire, or code enforcement officers during the meeting.
The next regular city council meeting will be held on July 18, 2023, at 6 p.m. at the Olive Hill Senior/Community Center.