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Front Page » July 21, 2005 » Local News » PRWID Discusses Helper Agreement
Published 3,319 days ago

PRWID Discusses Helper Agreement


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By CHARI JELSMA
Sun Advocate reporter

The Price River Water Improvement District board met with the Helper council to review a previous bill sent to the city and discussed monies reportedly owed to PRWID for emergency water.

Last year, Helper was faced with having to replace a transmission line that ran down from the canyon bringing water to the town.

Because the line was leaking more water than what was being delivered to the town, Helper applied for an emergency loan from the Utah Permanent Community Impact Board to cover the cost of replacing it.

But while the line was being installed, Helper ran into a second problem - the temporary acquisition of water from PRWID.

After completing the water line project, Helper paid PRWID $70,214.80, the amount billed to the city by the district. But received another bill from PRWID asking for an additional $118,813.82 for the water.

PRWID indicated the previous bill to Helper was not accurate due to the fact that the district only calculated the price on the gallons of water used by the city.

In PRWID's resolution 1999-2, the district charge $17.32 for 6,000 gallons of water per connection and a graduated scale is used for overages.

But PRWID only charged Helper $1.16 per thousand gallons of water, the same as current overages for regular users.

PRWID and Helper are currently looking at payment options for the bill, said Jeff Richens, PRWID assistant district manager, during the water improvement district's last board meeting.

Since PRWID is not the sole provider of water to Helper, the town requested to adopt a formal agreement between the two parties at a subsequent meeting that would allow future billing to be based on set rates.

Helper asked PRWID to draft an agreement including water rates, which would be slightly higher than that charged for full-time users.

The city also asked the water improvement district to agree to allow Helper a certain time period to collect funds and pay PRWID after receiving a bill.

The district was in favor of making an agreement between the two parties. PRWID officials decided to respond to Helper's request with authorization for drafting an agreement to be brought in front of the PRWID board for final approval.

Also brought up by the board were the 200 shares of reservoir water Helper currently owns. Since cities cannot lease water, the possibility of transferring the shares to PRWID and allowing the district to lease shares out for a period of time to help pay off the difference in bills was discussed.

Since no decisions could be made, the issue was added to PRWID's next agenda for Aug. 2, when the Helper City Council could possibly be in attendance to discuss the agreement between the two parties.

In another matter, PRWID discussed a possible increase in the district's current property tax rate to help shore up the agency's sagging finances.

Currently, PRWID is at a .000586 mill levy. But the water improvement district is consider increasing the levy to .000732, which is the maximum allowed by law.

During the July 5 meeting, Richens told the board they would be allowed to increase to a .0008 mill levy and that that would be an increase of approximately $16.32 a year on a home worth $150,000. During the latest meeting, it was brought up that the .0008 was wrong, but the .000732 would not change the expected amount of funds PRWID would bring in every year.



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