JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center Police Officer Nicholas Honeycutt was promoted to sergeant during the May 8 council meeting. He became an officer in June 2020 and went full time in January 2021. Four months later, he became the K-9 handler for the police department. During his three-year employment, he has never received a complaint from anybody about his performance, and continues to grow as both an officer and a good person.
Council held the third and final reading for of ordinances dealing with an increase in the village’s water and sewage bill along with a change in electricity rates.
At the March 27 meeting Nathan Davis, the Associate Water Asset Manager from the Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP) of Great Lakes Community Action Partnership, performed the village’s Rate Analysis Test. The test is run every five years, with Jackson Center’s last one being conducted in 2018. Davis has worked with RCAP for 13 years, and he performed the last test. He proposed the village lower the minimum total usage from 5,000 to 2,000 gallons a month. Due to high-interest rates, this will raise the cost of the average customer’s (someone who uses 3,250 gallons) bill to $49.90 for water a month and $60.20 for sewage. This will increase the yearly water and sewage bill by $110. Those who use less than 3,250 gallons will benefit from this overall. Currently, these people are being overcharged as they are paying the rate for 5,000 gallons regardless if you use that much or not. So, the change will in fact lower their bill.
Davis said, “You are not paying for the water, but for the pumping, treating, and sending it to your house.”
Once the new water treatment plant is completed in 2025, he will be back to reassess the rates.
Aaron Teders from Sawvel & Associates Inc. did a similar presentation at the April 10 meeting involving the electricity rates, or Ordinance 2023-006. This is a three-year study with the last one conducted in 2018. It is a little behind because of COVID. The new rate will be a 3% increase on the average resident (those who use 850 kilowatt hours, or kWh). Meaning their bill will be $122.86 a month. This is based on estimations using the AMP 5-Year Budget plan we have in place. They will also be adding a new class to the electricity rate called “Industrial”. These are places that use more than 1,000 kWh and purchase their own transformer that they service. The Village only provides the line extensions needed to connect it to the power grid. Reasons behind the increase are to maintain the financial integrity of the electrical system, build an emergency fund to replace equipment when in need, unbundle rates to minimize impact to utility from self-generation (ex. Solar Panels), and start putting money aside for a second transformer (XFMR) for the Jerry Drive Substation that has been in operation since 2019. The new transformer is estimated to be around $400,000 and will take two and a half years to deliver. Both Ordinances passed and the new rates will take effect on June 1.