Oak Creek to vote on 2013 budget Thursday | SteamboatToday.com

Oak Creek to vote on 2013 budget Thursday

Michael Schrantz

— Thursday is the last meeting of 2012 for the Oak Creek Town Board, and the agenda reflects the culmination of many months of work.

Resolutions set for a vote include increasing the monthly water charge, increasing the trash removal charge, approving the 2013 budget, appropriating the funds for the 2013 budget, levying property taxes and approving the employee salary schedule.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The monthly water charge increase is 5 percent, a $2.39 increase for a residential account, Town Administrator Mary Alice Page-Allen said. She said the Colorado Rural Water Association rate study the town commissioned earlier in the year suggested significantly higher increases, but the town decided such drastic increases weren’t prudent.

Oak Creek is working to move to a metered system and has system repairs that need to be done, Page-Allen said.

The decision was made to plan for a smaller increase than suggested by the study and continue to pursue grant funding for the system upgrades, she said.

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The town had to do something, Page-Allen said, and also needed "to take a longer look at things."

The increase in the trash removal fee comes after Old West Sanitation was awarded the contract for Oak Creek.

The new rates are $22.25 per month for residential service and $16.25 per month for seniors. Some fund balance is being used to offset the monthly rate increases, but Page-Allen previously said the hope is to recoup some of that cost through tighter billing procedures.

Oak Creek's 2013 budget has been through multiple workshops, and a public hearing was held in November. The 2013 budget contains management fees charged to the enterprise funds used to run the town's utilities.

These fees have been challenged by a petition started by Oak Creek property owner Scott Wedel. The timing of the petition means that the earliest budget that could be affected by its outcome is 2014.

Also during Thursday's meeting, the Town Board will vote on whether to waive the formal bid process for work on the town's electrical generator. The generator needs modifications to come into compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Oak Creek receives payments for capacity and energy supplied by the generator.

Wagner Equipment, which would receive the contract, originally sold the town the generator, Page-Allen said, and came in below the other two possible options during initial talks. Funds for the modifications were appropriated through a supplementary budget passed earlier in the year.

Before the meeting, the Town Board will interview Bill Norris for a Planning Commission seat. Norris previously was on the Routt County Planning Commission and was an Oak Creek mayoral candidate.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com

Sign up for Christmas lights contest

Residents or businesses that want to participate in Oak Creek’s Christmas Lighting Contest can sign up at Town Hall by 5 p.m. Dec. 21. Winners will be announced in the January town newsletter, and judges likely will be volunteer members of the Town Board.

Winners in the residential and commercial categories will receive money off their utility bills. In the residential category, first place gets $100 off, second place gets $75 off, and third place gets $50 off. In the commercial category, first place gets $150 off and second place gets $100 off.