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Discussions of infill, biosolids proposals move on

By Staff | Jun 20, 2011

City Council supported moving forward with both the infill assessment and outsourcing the city’s biosolids production Monday, but both votes of confidence simply moved those processes forward and do not represent a final vote.
City staff is expected to work on both proposals during council’s summer hiatus and have more information available upon the board’s return.
Staff already said that both proposals, used in conjunction, could signal zero water rate increases over the next two years, and a 3.5 percent hike in the following three years. Rates are currently scheduled to increase 8 percent this fiscal year.
There’s already an early interest by a council majority to enter into a long term agreement with Charlotte County, which they hope would take the city’s waste and help to cut costs by $750,000 annually.
But the city would have to cease portions of its own production, downgrading its waste product from AA to B and that worried Mayor John Sullivan, who tried to project a worst case scenario while considering the interlocal agreement with Charlotte County.
“I want to make sure we’re not out on a limb,” he said.
Meanwhile, staff will start developing the assessment roll after council supported the infill option.
Even though staff is now working that assessment roll, Councilmember Kevin McGrail stressed that it is still in the research phase and no final decisions have been made.
He said council is not trying to “slide” the proposal through, and tried to explain the situation to homeowners who might feel less than happy about the proposed assessment.
“The reason you weren’t charged an impact fee in prior years was because they (former councils) figured that growth would never end. Well that train derailed and now we have all these lots that might never be developed,” he said. “I assure you we’re not pulling a fast one, we’re just opening this for discussion.”
City Council will reconvene for a scheduled workshop on July 18.