ROACHDALE -- Town Council members Jack Jones, Bill Long and Barbara Scott answered questions and heard concerns from residents at the start of the monthly town council meeting Tuesday evening.
One resident asked about postponing the second increase for water and sewer rates due to take effect on Feb. 1, 2009.
"There are a lot of single person homes in this area. Some of these people live on a very limited income and are really struggling to pay their bills. I know one woman who lives on $600 a month and has 17 prescriptions. If you could postpone it until spring when usage is down it would give them some time," she said.
Council President Long responded that they couldn't postpone it since everything had been decided and put into motion legally. The rates are increasing 50 percent for sewer bills. The cost was split into two 25 percent increments with the second increase due in February.
Water rates are rising 75 percent and they too are being split into two increments.
In August, the minimum cost to customers per 3,000 gallons for sewage rose to $23.55. The second increment on Feb. 1, 2009 will raise the minimum amount to $28.14.
Water bills increased to a minimum of $14.62 for 2,000 gallons in August, and will jump to $18.54 in February.
There was some good news. Town Clerk Martha Louk reported that gas costs for November, December and January were going down 15 percent from the prior three months. They are down five percent from this time last year.
In other business, the council voted to transfer a police vehicle to Center Point for $1500 to be paid on or before Jan. 30, 2009.
Town Marshal Mike Mahoy recognized Deputy Rick Kiefer who is retiring from the Roachdale Police. Kiefer served four years on the force. Mahoy presented him with a framed collage.
Long suggested the council consider applying a three-level fine system for all town ordinances that do not have fines attached to them. His suggestion was $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second and $100 for a third. The council tabled the suggestion until they could discuss it with Town Attorney Tom Casey.
The board also commended town merchants for the decorations in downtown.
"They did a great job and the town council wants them to know it's appreciated. Several people were involved helping and we appreciate it all," said Long.
The Roachdale Town Council meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the town hall.