GREENFIELD — If the city increases its wastewater fee to pay for the reconstruction of Potts Ditch, it should reduce the fee when the project is paid off in 20 years, a city councilman proposed Wednesday as the rate increase passed its first hurdle.
The Greenfield City Council dug into numbers on the proposed 27.6 percent wastewater rate increase, which could go into effect Jan. 1.
About half of the rate hike will be used to cover the $10 million project to reroute Potts Ditch through downtown Greenfield; the other half is for general operations and maintenance of the city’s wastewater and sewer facilities.
At the city council’s meeting Wednesday night, council President John Patton asked whether a sunset provision could be inserted into the rate ordinance so when the 20-year bond for the Potts Ditch project is paid off, Greenfield Utilities customers could get a break.
“My fundamental view of government is when you raise a tax to pay for a project, that tax should not continue,” Patton said after the meeting, adding that he views a utility rate hike exactly as he does a tax increase.
Financial consultant Buzz Krohn and city attorney Tom Billings said they could find a way to put the sunset provision in the ordinance, linking it to the exact year the bond will be paid off.