On April 15, the Helper Council passed two resolutions that will change city supplied utility rates for local residents.
The first hike discussed at the meeting involved increased water rates.
According to one resolution, water rates for residential properties will be charged according to the following scale:
Operations and maintenance fee, $12 per month.
The resolution also includes a provision specifying that the city's water rates will subject to a 5 percent increase per year.
A rate of $1.50 per 1,000 gallons of water between 1,000 and 10,000 gallons.
For 10,000 to 15,000 gallons, the fee will be $2 per 1,000 gallons.
For 15,000 to 20,000 gallons, the fee will be $2.50 per 1,000 gallons.
In excess of 20,000 gallons, there will be a $3 per 1,000 gallons charge.
The following water charges will apply for commercial and industrial properties in Helper:
Operations and maintenance fee, $12 per month.
A rate of $1.50 per 1,000 gallons of between 1,000 and 10,000 gallons.
For 10,000 to 20,000 gallons, the fee will be $2 per 1,000 gallons.
For 20,000 to 30,000 gallons, the fee will be $2,50 per 1,000 gallons.
For 30,000 to 50,000 gallons, the fee will be $3 per 1,000 gallons.
For 50,000 to 100,000 gallons, the fee will be $3.50 per 1,000 gallons.
In excess of 100,000 gallons, there will be a $4 per 1,000 gallons charge.
During non-readable or winter months, the rate will be $14 for every 10,000 used.
Sewer rates will be charged at a rate of $18.50 per month.
Electricity rates will also be changing as well.
Recently, Utah Power & Light increased rates for the company's customers by 7.7 percent. UP&L will be doing the same with the cities the company supplies power to as well, including Helper.
"They are increasing their rates to us by that percentage so we have to do the same to cover our costs," said Councilman Chuck Buchanan.
For residential customers, the new rate will be 1.0389 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the first 400 kWh and 7.6621 cents per kWh for all additional hours.
Rates will be substantially higher than residential for commercial and industrial customers with small commercial general demand power being paid at 8.88 per kWh in excess of five kWh.
The first 1,000 kWh for large commercial users will be 6.75 per kWh.
The council designated that all city power, water and sewer bills will be billed as one utility bill.
In an unrelated matter at the meeting, the council reviewed an ordinance concerning burn permits in the city limits.
The cities and the county have joined ranks to try and make things more clear for citizens.
But the period allowed for open burning in the county still varies from the guideline placed on the activity within the city limits.
"About three weeks ago, the state fire marshal came down and we have worked out a 30-day window this spring in which people can burn," pointed out Helper Fire Chief Mike Zamantakis.
The April 15 through May 15 burn time has been accepted by all the cities in the county, except Price.
Price city prohibits all outside burning.
"Now, in the fall, we might also get a 30-day window in which to burn, but that will depend on fire conditions in the area," continued the Helper chief.
Zamantakis explained that burning is no longer simply a local jurisdiction problem. The United States Environmental Protection Agency is also involved in the matter.
"If EPA officials came down here and saw someone burning when the air quality index was deficient, they not only could fine the person that is doing it, but also the city. It is imperative that people have permits if they are going to burn," noted the Helper fire chief.
The permit process within the cities in Carbon County is different. Now, permits to conduct controlled burns will be issued for only two days, not for extended periods.
Permits to burn within the city limits cost nothing, but must be obtained by local residents. Resident may acquire controlled burn permits by contacting the police department.
Other rules that apply to controlled burns include:
Permits will be issued only to local residents older than 18 years of age.
The permits are valid only during daylight hours.
Permits are required when burning tree limbs, brush, grass, grain, stubble and hay land.
No permit is required for burning fence lines, cultivated lands, canals or irrigation ditches.
However, residents must contact the public safety dispatch center about all burns, permitted or not.
The county dispatch will have the data on air quality indexes in the area and make the decision whether residents can conduct controlled burns, regardless of permit status.
From May 16 to Oct. 3, all burning will be prohibited within the city limits.
No trash or garbage may be burned at any time, even during the designated windows.