Resolution "Not Good for City", "Poorly Written", Covington City Manager Says
This story has been updated (at 1:05 p.m.) to include comments from Commissioner Michelle Williams. See bottom of post.
The resolution opposing proposed rate increases at Sanitation District 1 contentiously approved by the Covington City Commission by a vote of 3-2 Tuesday night is not good for the city, city manager Larry Klein said Wednesday.
"It's a poorly written resolution," Klein said. "I know Commissioner (Michelle) Williams didn't write it but it's poorly written by whomever."
Williams has not returned a call seeking comment.
The resolution was added to Tuesday night's city commission agenda in a surprise move by Williams who demanded that it be added, causing several minutes of heated disagreements between the mayor, commissioners, and Klein. (SEE: Fractured Covington Commission Falls Even Farther from Cohesion)
A copy of the resolution was not provided to other commissioners or the media before or during the meeting. The River City News has a copy now, and it's posted below. Klein said that it has "erroneous" information within it.
Here is the resolution in full:
WHEREAS, on April 30, 2013, the Board of Directors of Sanitation District No.1, have proposed a 9% and 17% increase, per year, in sanitary and storm sewer rates, followed with a 21% increase in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017; andWHEREAS, the Covington City Commission asks the Sanitation District No. 1 Board of Directors to re-open the Consent Decree and amend that decree, especially given the 1997 "Combined Sewer Overflows- Guidance for Financial Capability Assessment and Schedule Development," which indicates Median Household Income thresholds and other financial considerations to be taken into account for Clean Water Act Compliance; andWHEREAS, the City of Cincinnati (and MSD) was successful, in 2010, with re-opening the Consent Decree in their Clean Water Act matter, significantly extending compliance elates; andWHEREAS, the proposed rates are unaffordable for our Covington ratepayers, taxpayers, residents, and the SD I service area generally; andWHEREAS, a great deal of additional fees is to provide for capability that is not needed today, but in the future, instead of passing such fees onto new developments through tap in fees; andWHEREAS, 9%, 17%, or 21% fees are unsustainable and unconscionable:NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE COVINGTON CITY COMMISSION:1) That the City of Covington urges Board of Directors of Sanitation District No. I not to take a 9%, or any rate greater than 9% increase on sewer or stormwater rates; and2) That the City of Covington urges the Board of Directors of Sanitation District No. 1 to go back to federal Court, ask that Court to reopen the decree, and extend, significantly, the time for compliance to a reasonable schedule, and to stand up for the overburdened ratepayers, taxpayers, and residents that the District serves; and3) That the City of Covington likewise urges the Kenton County Fiscal Court not to approve these devastating rate increases, and certainly not to do so until every other possibility, including going back to federal court and urging that the decree be re-opened and significantly extended.4) That copies of the foregoing resolution be forwarded to members of the Kenton County Fiscal Court and Board of Directors of Sanitation District No. 1.