ODESSA, MO – The first regular aldermen meeting scheduled after storms caused damage to Odessa city property earlier this month, took place Monday evening, March 27.
Discussions were undertaken to plan past the referendum on the April 4 ballot, which asks voters for permission to sell the water and wastewater systems to the nation’s largest public utility, American Water. The sale would be for at least $17.5 million. In the event there is no restructuring of city debt, additional debt obligations, recently having taken effect, could be paid for by the sale of the utilities. City administrator, Nici Wilson, also says, while a moratorium on new construction has just been lifted, it is difficult to forecast city growth and resultant revenue. Wilson says, the city must find a way to generate $650,000 in revenue to pay debt obligations, according to current projections.
If the proposed utility sale does not meet with two-thirds approval by voters, a modest rate increase could also make up the difference. Two options would either increase utility rates, or increase base rates. Those rate increases could be postponed three to five years, pending no further change in revenue sources.
Projected rates could rise by as much as 25 cents per 1000 gallons of water consumption, and by $4.85 per 1000 gallons for sewer.
The city could also raise base charges by $2.83 for water, and by $22.03 for sewer.
One option would favor residents whose utility use is below average. The other option favors above-average users.
The Dyer Park Community Building will also host the general municipal election, April 4, along with New Horizons Presbyterian Church. The election places alderman John Carmody and James Keehler on the ballot for Ward 1. Alderman Brian Henning for Ward 2, and alderman Mike Stevens for Ward 3, are also up for reelection.
An appointment on the Planning and Zoning Board, approved at the meeting, was filled by former alderman, Mark Bellington.
A proclamation announcing Fair Housing Month was given by Mayor, Adam Couch.