Oskaloosa Water Seeks Philosophical Change To Billing
Oskaloosa, Iowa – In a work session marked by more questions than answers, the board of the Oskaloosa Water Department informed the City Council they intend to look at billing certain city properties such as Edmundson Golf and the swimming pool.
The board is looking for ways to help make up a deficit in their budget in the next two years, and believes that city facilities that charge a fee, for their use, should be paying the department for water used.
Such an increase could potentially impact rates charged to end users of facilities. The water department hopes that passing along the cost will help keep water rate increases down for those that don’t use the services.
Also discussed was the possibility of the city and water department working together on sharing the cost on new water meters. The benefit to the parties would be more accurate metering that could potentially bring more revenue for the water department as well as the city. The city collects sewer revenue based upon water usage, so if the meters are turning slowly from age and use and not accurately reflecting total water usage then the city isn’t collecting the full amount on sewer rates.
Of course the rent-free agreement the city has with the water department was then brought into question, with talks turning towards ways for the water department and the city to more closely cooperate.
The suggestion was brought up of bringing the water department back into city hall. The sharing of resources would be a major factor in the move.
One suggestion was making sure that communication between the council and the water board be increased. Benefits to more communication would be cooperation in regards to road repairs and water line installations to prevent tearing up new road surfaces.