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Lake City Report - January 8, 2010
Going going - availability fees - almost gone

From City Manager Wendell Johnson

Water/Sewer Rate Study:
At the year's first City Council meeting the Council approved the “Water, Wastewater and Reclaimed Water Rate Study.” The City Attorney and Staff are proceeding with the legislative and public notice activity.  The implementation process should take 90-120 days.

Here is a recap of the Council’s action: 

   Karen Mizer, president of the Columbia County Landlord’s Assoc. peppered the City Manager and the Council with questions during the Jan. 4th Counsel meeting. After the meeting Ms. Mizer told the Observer, "It was a long time coming and I think the city acted in the best interest of the of all the residents of the city and the county by eliminating the availability fee.

a.   Eliminate Service Availability Charge. 

b.   Assess a Base Charge for active customers; no Base Charge assessment to inactive customers.

c.   Establish water and waste water rates to recoup revenue losses estimated to be $420,000 from inactive customers; establish reclaimed water rate at volumetric charge of 63 cents per 1,000 gallons.

d. Adopt the American Water Works Association methodology and meter-size increments, i.e., the Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) standard unit of measure. 

Rates for the water and sewer systems are increasing for the following reasons:

 a.       Recover “increased costs” for operations and maintenance of the utility.

b.      Provide additional funds required to finance planned capital improvements of the proposed Kicklighter Road Waste Water Treatment Plant ("WWTP") and upgrades to existing St. Margaret’s Street WWTP.

c.       Provide revenue to off-set losses due to the elimination of the Availability Charge. 

Annual Employee Awards Banquet

Award nominations for 2009 will be accepted through January 10, 2010. The categories are:  1) Dedication; 2) Achievement; 3) Supervisor and 4) Outstanding Employee, which is the highest award.  The awards banquet will be held on January 29th at the Country Club at Lake City from 7:00pm.to 11:00pm.

North Florida Broadband Authority ("NFBA")

The NFBA Board of Directors met on January 6, 2010 in Live Oak.  The meeting was productive.

The Board approved submission of the Request for Qualifications ("RFQ") for a Project Manager/Engineer/Construction Manager for the anticipated $32,000,000 project. The RFQ Review and Selection Committee members were also appointed by the Board.

The Broadband Grant Consultant, Government Services Group, advised that the status of the grant award would be provided from the National Communications and Information Administration by January 15, 2010. If approved, the Project RFQ will be immediately published.

The NFBA consists of 14 northern Florida counties in the region and 8 cities. If approved and completed, the grant project will provide the first and only open, ubiquitous, "Middle Mile" access to broadband Internet services for both private entities and public institutions in the underserved areas of northern Florida.

This area is composed of a fourteen county Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern which is known as the RACEC. It is deemed by the Governor as a priority for broadband.

The NFBA will deliver up to 1,000 times the existing capacity to the RACEC within three years. 

The City Staff Report is available in pdf format here.


Lake City Manager Wendell Johnson is on a roll with the Lake City Reports. See what the Lake City government is up to. If you are curious to know how many record requests were handled by the Sunshine Girls, or are interested in how many police calls were handled by the Lake City police department, or even how many gallons of water Steve Robert's state of the art water plant pumped, the Lake City reports is the place to go.


City Staff Report
 • January 8, 2010

The Lake City Report is the nuts and bolts of government. Read the report and see your tax dollars at work and become familiar with your city government.