Wheaton considers community storm shelter project

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Wheaton City Council discussed a proposed community storm shelter project at its regularly scheduled meeting on June 4.

Alderman Nancy Rosentreter stated that she believes there is a need for a community storm shelter in Wheaton. She suggested Marianne Witt, city clerk, gather information for a possible shelter construction project.

Bob Lombard, Wheaton fire chief and city employee, volunteered to contact David Compton, Barry County Emergency Management director, regarding the proposed storm shelter. Witt will contact Ron Thomas, of the USDA-Rural Development, to obtain information about grant monies that could be available for the project.

In old business, Witt presented the aldermen with a new utility ordinance, which will implement the city's new utility rates.

In May, the council voted to increase the base sewer rate to $10 for the first 2,000 gallons of water used and usage charges to $1.50 for each additional 1,000 gallons of water.

The aldermen also approved a water rate increase to $11 for residents who live within the city limits and an increase to $18 for residents who live outside the city limits. The base rate is for the first 1,500 gallons of water used. Customers will be charged $2.50 for each additional 1,000 gallons of water used.

In addition to the utility rate changes, the ordinance includes changes to the city's shut-off procedure, which will now be the same as the natural gas shut-off procedure.

After reviewing the ordinance, the aldermen directed Witt to make an additional revision. The ordinance will be reviewed again during the July council meeting.

The council also reviewed progress on property clean-ups and code violation corrections, which were identified during the May meeting.

Around half of the identified property owners have made progress in correcting violations. Property owners who have not attempted to correct violations will be issued citations and required to appear in court.

In other business, the Wheaton City Council:

* Voted to raise the monthly charge for sewer service without water service to $12.

* Voted to replace the stools, sink and urinal in the Wheaton City Park bathrooms.

* Approved the purchase of financial software from USTI.

* Directed Witt to include funding for a helicopter landing pad in the 2009 budget.

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