Topics of interest from Feb. 8 Dysart City Council

Electric, water rates set to increase due to costs

Bike path signage

During the Feb. 8 Dysart City Council meeting, the council approved a request made by Catharine Wieck with the Dysart Tree Board to place six aluminum signs along the roughly one-mile C.R. Roberts Memorial Trail which begins on Hwy 21 where the Old Creamery Nature Trail ends. Each sign, Wieck shared, will highlight a Dysart landmark originally present along the trail. The estimated cost of the signs is $250 each to be paid with grant funds, funds from the Dysart Tree Board, and individual donations. The signs should be placed before Dysart’s 150th-anniversary celebration set to take place on July 4 of this year.

Clean-up days set

Dysart’s annual clean-up days were approved and are set for April 28 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., and April 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New boiler

As part of his report, Public Works Superintendent David Schneider shared that the boiler at the Dysart Community Building recently had service work done. Schneider advised the council they should budget for the boiler to be replaced in the next three to four years.

Nuisance proceedings 604 Connell

City Clerk Tabby Kaiser provided an update on the abatement status of 604 Connell Street which according to online public records is currently owned by Bobbi and Christopher Enos. The property is in nuisance proceedings with the city. The owners were given 90 days – now passed – to abate the nuisances. The city will defer to its attorney for the next step.

Street project halted due to cost

Under old business, engineer Jeff Morrow with Anderson-Bogert provided an update on the Jefferson Street project. The project was originally given a project estimate of $490,000 but with unexpected water main and sanitary sewer repairs, Morrow explained the cost is now projected to be over $1 million. The project was slated to begin this summer. The council agreed to put off the project for one year due to costs.

Electric rates set to increase

Kaiser gave an update on the city’s recent electric rate review. Dysart’s electric rates have not changed since 2009, Kaiser said, while electricity market rates have increased by 15% since 2020 alone. The city has been covering the increase in costs while most other municipalities have been passing the cost on to the customer. A motion – made by Derek Neegaard with a second from Jenn Alpers – was unanimously approved to move forward with increasing the electric base fee and adding a power cost adjustment fee to utility bills. If approved, Kaiser told the Telegraph following the meeting, the base fee increase would be $3 for residential properties and $6 for commercial properties. The power cost adjustment fee which changes monthly is an average based on cost, usage, and sales.

Water rates to increase by nearly a third if approved

At this time, the city’s water fund is not self-supporting, Kaiser shared. A motion – made by Alpers with a second from Stacey Dabney – was unanimously approved to begin the process of increasing the city’s water fees. If approved, there will be a 27% increase. The increase is not in any way related to the recent sewer upgrades.