Bethel city council to look at water meters and leasing city property

by Ben Matheson on January 14, 2014

Bethel’s city council could take the first step towards metering water use. A proposed memo would direct staff to look into the cost of buying and installing water meters for both hauled and piped customers. It would include a look at electronic meters in order to save on the costs of manpower.

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Another proposal on the council’s three page agenda would direct staff to look at options to connect Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway with Ptarmigan Street and look at costs and pros and cons of each option.

The city manager’s report includes a look at the impact of the non-profit AVEC’s takeover of BUC. The city takes in about $1.1 million in sales tax from BUC related to fuel. If the new utility is able to cut rates and save the city money on its one million dollar electric bills, that would soften the blow, but city could stand to lose a net 976 thousand dollars.

On the table will be a decision on whether to draw up a lease between the city and the Alaska Department of Transportation for use of the city-owned sand pit. And the council will take up an ordinance that would allow business or groups to lease space in the city’s animal shelter. If approved, the city would issue a 30 day RFP for interested parties.

The council will look at applying to the shared Fisheries Business Tax Program because the city suffered significant effects during 2012 from fisheries business. That program shares fish tax from other parts of the state with areas that have spent municipal funds due to impacts from the fishing business.

A proposed resolution would support the governor’s idea to transfer 3 billion dollars to cover pension liabilities for public employees. Another resolutions shows support for the Alaska Grid project.

The agenda includes an executive session for the city manager’s job review and a look into matters that could have an adverse effect on city finances. The Council will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The public is invited to attend. The meeting will be aired live on 640 am and streamed at

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