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Sewer rates to increase on Sanibel

By Staff | Sep 16, 2015

Sewer rates will bump a bit at the start of the new fiscal year.

The Sanibel City Council passed a resolution last Saturday in its regular scheduled meeting, to increase residential and commercial sewer rates and connection fees by 3 percent, which will go into effect Oct. 1.

The residential customer rates will now be $58.20 per month and $174.60 per quarter. Depending on meter size for commercial use, the increases include: fifth-eighth meter, $33.80 monthly and $101.40 quarterly; one inch, $84.42, $253.26; one and a half inch, $168.77, $506.31; two inch, $241.90, $725.70; three inch, $539.85, $1,619.55 and four inch, $846.47, $2,539.41.

The consumption rate stands at $8.74 per 1,000 gallons. Connection fees will now cost $4,258.46.

“The 3 percent increase has been planned long ago,” said Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane. “The good news has been that the City has found ways not to pass an increase for the last seven to eight years. After the sewer feasibility study,there was not a lot of flexibility.”

The Council also voted 4-0 (Vice Mayor Mick Denham had an excused absence) to raise the general reclaimed water rates by 3 percent, which will now cost users $2.61 per 1,000 gallons. The increase will be enacted from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2016.

The first reading of the ordinance to raise the beach parking on Sanibel from $3 to $4 an hour, as well as raise civil penalty fees from $50 to $75 in an event that the $50 fee is not paid within 14 days, was had, with no discussion.

The first reading was also had on the ordinance to increase the Sanibel Recreation resident membership fees and member facility rental fees and in visitor membership fees and non-member facility rental fees, was had.

If the ordinance is passed, resident individual fees will be raised from $4.25 to $5 daily, $23 weekly, $92 every six months and $173 annually. Family resident fees increases include $7 daily, $35 weekly, $150 six-month plan and $231 annually.

Other increases will affect island employee plans, visitors and City of Sanibel employee plans.

The second reading of both the ordinances will be held Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 9:10 a.m.

The Council passed a resolution to approve a budget amendment to appropriate $15,000 for a Phase 1 study on determining the amount of coyotes which occupy Sanibel.

The study includes studying coyote scat and performing DNA analysis which will provide an estimate of number and the sex of the coyotes on Sanibel.

The Coyote Biologists Working Group will continue to seek grants and other funding to offset the cost of Phase 2, which will be directly affected by the results of the Phase 1 study.

“We will be using this information from the Phase 1 study to help make future decisions on the coyotes,” said Holly Milbrandt of the Natural Resource Department.

A resolution was passed to establish the classification plan and pay schedule for city employees for the fiscal year of 2015-16. The pay grades and ranges for City non-union and union positions were established, as well as adopting new job descriptions.

The City Council agreed to pay 25 percent of the total cost of $9,995 to resurface the asphalt paving from Dunlop to the Sanibel Library perimeter.

The next scheduled Sanibel City Council meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 22, starting at 9 a.m.