City conducts current rate charge study
All counselors were present at the Beloit City Council meeting at Beloit Municipal Building on Tuesday. Mayor Tom Naasz took time to extend appreciation to the city crews and the work they performed during the recent snow storm. He noted that while most of us are safe and warm in our homes, the crews are out in the inclement weather clearing the streets and reconnecting broken electrical connections. A study is being conducted on current rates charged by the city to determine if rate increases are in order. "Electric rates are being reviewed to see what effect recent portfolio changes will have on electric costs. It is anticipated that customers will see some savings. In addition, all utility rates will be reviewed in early January to determine any necessary changes." Electrical Department Head Steve Krier gave a status report on the electrical department. Krier said, “We have lots to do but we usually have lots to do.” During the recent storm three poles needed to be replaced. Because it was a holiday weekend many of his crew were out of town. Krier said he and another crewman were able to juggle all the activities and keep things going. A big tree fell and took out service to several residences. City crew members have been assisting with various tasks at the Isle of Lights. –Beloit City Manager Jason Rabe reported that the paperwork for the new water plant is slowly progressing through the system. "It is a methodical, step-by-step process that does not advance quickly." He reported a lift station on Independence Street had been replaced and after considerable fine-tuning it is working well. –The second airport advisory group will meet on Dec. 17. – The City Christmas celebration will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 at the Down Under. – About a month ago the council approved the lease-purchase of a new patrol car for the police force. The council approved Resolution 2018-14-2 to approve a lease-purchase agreement for a 2019 Police Package Dodge Charger in the amount of $17,000.
After background checks conducted by the City Attorney Katie Schroeder and the Chief of Police Dave Elam, Cereal Malt Beverage licenses for 2019 were approved for the businesses including: Beloit Bowl, Pump Mart, Mitchell County Fair Association, El Puertos, Shamburg Oil, Casey’s East and West, Bubba Q’s, Mac’s Quick Shop, Shopko, Ray’s Apple Market.
– A silent bid of $15,600 for the 2000 Freightliner semi-truck from Joe Herz of Burr Oak was accepted.
– A silent bid of $500 for a 1958 Navy lowboy trailer from Mike Brummer was accepted.
– The council approved the Employee Personal Holiday program for 2019 as a means of showing appreciation for their hard work.
Rabe reviewed the ERI Pay Scale Adjustment. The new budget allows for a 4 percent increase in pay for employees. 2 percent of this money will be dedicated to across the board pay raises for all employees. Another 2 percent of this money will be utilized in merit pay increases for employees who qualify.
– The business meeting was adjourned and the work session was called to order.
– City Attorney Schroeder reported that the advent of small cell wireless devices could soon be overwhelming. She encouraged the councilors to research this topic and think of ways the city could deal with device that is popping up everywhere. The city will need to have regulations in place by April.
– Rabe led the council through a discussion of a Renewable Parallel Generation policy. Simply put, this policy would regulate individuals possessing electrical generating devices such as wind chargers or solar panels that could sell to the city their excess electrical generation.
Also in attendance at Tuesday's meeting were Jason Rabe, City Manager, Katie Schroeder, City Attorney, and Jessica Rosebaugh, Assistant City Clerk.