The Green Lake water tower project created a $250,000 debt and the council has to pay it off through the water rates as dictated by the Public Service Commission.
The Green Lake water tower project created a $250,000 debt and the council has to pay it off through the water rates as dictated by the Public Service Commission.

   With a quarter million dollar debt to pay off, incurred by the water tower project, the Green Lake City Council approved applying for a simple water rate increase of 3 percent.

   According to Mayor Jon McConnell, the water tower had to be repainted because “the inside was failing,” he said.

   Public Works Director Glen McCarty explained the council couldn’t budget for the water tower project because the Public Service Commission (PSC), which governs the water rates, doesn’t allow for that.

   “PSC in their approach to how to evenly disperse expenses to all customers fairly will request that you have the a debt before you can raise the rate,” McCarty said.  “We tried [to budget for it.]  We put it in the rate request, they denied it, pulled it out and said ‘no.’ And the reason they do that is because some municipalities actually don’t spend the money once they get the rates increased, which is strange but that’s happened.”

   Since the council couldn’t set money aside for the project, it lent  money from the city’s general fund to Green Lake’s Water Department to help pay for the project instead of having the department get a loan.

   Read the full story, which includes why the council must pay off the debt through the water and sewer rates, in the Sept. 13, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.