Wichita City Council agenda: water bill increase, ’09 budget and methane

City CouncilHere’s what’s up next Tuesday (7/22) when the city council meets at 9:30 a.m.:

– A $1 increase to the base charge on your water bill. Blame the rain for that one. The city says it fell $3.5 million short of its projections because people aren’t watering their fields and lawns as much as they usually do. By adding a $1 increase to the base charge, the city can count on a steady cash flow from its 140,000 customer accounts. More increases are expected when the city council votes on the 2009-2010 budget on Aug. 12. Of course, that base charge increase will still be there when a dry year comes along. The increase gives the city an extra $1.68 million a year, which will help pay of debt for the next phase of the aquifer recharge project.

– The council will also set the maximum amount of taxes levied for their 2009-2010 budget. That could spur another debate over budget issues, such as whether to fund a downtown police bureau and how to staff fire stations. (Previous Eagle story.)

– Council members will also vote whether to shift $500,000 in emergency money to pay for repairs and Chapin Landfill, which has been closed since 1987. Late last month, officials found methane was leaking from the old landfill. It forced the evacuation of five homes. (Previous Eagle story.)

The agenda and some supporting documents are available in a PDF file.