Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 25, 2014

Russell finalizes utility rate increases, contracts for buyers

RUSSELL — Sewer and water rates in Russell will increase beginning July 1 as a result of action taken Tuesday by the city council.

The water-rate increases will affect Bellefonte and Russell, with sewer rates only applying to downtown Russell.

Russell residents will see water rates rise from $16 to $18 for the minimum usage of 1,000 gallons. Bellefonte residents’ minimum bills will go from $16.50 to $18.50.

Sewer rates for downtown Russell will be $14 for minimum usage of up to 1,000 gallons and $3.25 per additional 1,000 gallons, up from $12 and $3, respectively.

The sewer-rate increase and contract approvals passed unanimously. Council members Esther “Sissy” Shaffer and Ron Simpson both voted “no” on the water-rate increases.

The Russell Utility Department struggled financially in the past year, as was evident in the auditor’s report brought before the council by Roger Conley. In his report, Conley said the city’s finances seemed to be in good order, except for the utility fund borrowing $227,000 from the general fund to avoid a deficit, ending the year with $83,000.

“I’ve audited a lot of cities and I haven’t ever seen where a government has to cover its utility department. It’s usually the other way around,” he said.

Packaged with the rate increases were contracts for the cities of Flatwoods and Raceland for purchasing water from Russell after July 1.

Russell City Clerk Joy Conley said Tuesday the two cities have not bought water from Russell under a contract since the early part of 1987.

Council members Dave Kersey and Shaffer were particularly adamant about getting Flatwoods and Raceland to sign.

“We need these contracts in order to justify and compensate for the rate increases we’re proposing,” Kersey said.

If the cities choose to sign the contract, they can buy Russell water for $2 per 1,000 gallons. If they opt not to sign, they will pay $2.50 per 1,000 gallons.

At the end of the financial reports, Shaffer spoke up about her motion made last week to not increase the salaries for the incoming council.

Shaffer said while she still agreed the entire council should not see a pay raise, she suggested the mayor’s salary be increased by $200 each month.

“Not many cities have the privilege of having a full-time mayor (Bill Hopkins) like we do,” she said. “I don’t even want to know how much time he spends in meetings each week that we (regular council members) don’t have to go to. I think he deserves it.”

Though the increase is not valid until January, Shaffer reminded the council Hopkins is running unopposed for re-election this year.

The council unanimously voted to approved the measure, raising the overall mayoral salary to $2,000 per month.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

Text Only
Local News
  • Tensions rise among city commission members

    The controversy about City Manager Ben Bitter’s moving expenses revealed a division in the Ashland Board of City Commissioners.

    July 29, 2014

  • ambulance.jpg Ambulance flips on Winchester

     One minor injury was reported after a passenger car collided with an ambulance at the intersection in front of the Paramount Arts Center on Winchester Avenue around 10 a.m. Tuesday. Independent videographer Adam Black witnessed the accident and reported the ambulance was traveling south of Winchester with lights on and siren activated when it was struck in the rear quarter panel by a passenger vehicle that had a green light for the intersection and failed to yield for the emergency vehicle.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0730Grimes_080.jpg Grimes campaign comes to Lexington

    A recent poll that has twice previously shown Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes with a slim lead over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell now has McConnell up by two points.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • U.S. 60 yard sale will be Friday and Saturday

    Bringing bargain shoppers from miles around, the U.S. 60 Yard Sale officially begins Friday morning in Carter County.

    July 29, 2014

  • John Cannon: Bracing to stand on her own 2 feet: 7/30/14

    My youngest granddaughter, who will turn 5 on Sept. 2, has been fitted with a pair of ankle braces to help prevent her from falling down so often.

    July 29, 2014

  • War firearms demo set

    A few of the most devastating and accurate firearms used in conflicts ranging from the Civil War to world wars will be demonstrated for an audience limited to about 40 during an upcoming event sponsored by the Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society.

    July 29, 2014

  • Lawmaker pays tribute to late WWII veteran

    July 29, 2014

  • Local briefs: 7/30/14

    The Carter County Sheriff's Department charged an Olive Hill man Thursday with trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree.

    July 29, 2014

  • OLBH receives Quest Award

    Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital has been honored by Premier Inc. with a Quest Award for High-value Healthcare Citation of Merit for delivering high-quality, cost-effective health care.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0730Grimes_406.jpg Grimes bus tour gets rousing sendoff

    A recent poll,which has twice previously shown Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes with a slim lead over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, now has McConnell up by two points.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone