12-06-2018 Hartford sewer rates out of step; City Engineer says rate increases and debt may be in t

MISS HARTFORD 2019 HOPEFULS… Seven young ladies will be vying for the title of Miss Hartford at the pageant being held Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 p.m. at the Hartford High School Auditorium. Tickets will be $20 at the door. Doors open at 2:15 p.m. Pictured (from the left): Seated – Brittany Vanlandingham and Brianna Guntle; Standing – Cecelia Perales, Brynn Duffy, Mikenzie Chambers, Piper Reinhardt, and Catera Hawley.


KINGLY CONTESTANTS… Four young men will be vying for the title of Mr. Hartford 2019 at the contest being held Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. The contest theme is “As Big as Kansas…As Big as Oz” and will be held at the Hartford High School Auditorium. The contestants are (from the left): Evan Parker, Noah Wade, Xavier Salina and Alexander Lehnert.


Hartford sewer rates out of step; City Engineer says rate increases and debt may be in the future to pay for system improvements

By Jon Bisnett At the combined workshop/ business meeting of the Hartford City Commission on November 19, Frank LaPierre of Wightman and Associates detailed the final step of the city’s Stormwater, Asset Management & Wastewater (SAW) grant with recommendations for 20-year financial plan for the city’s sewer system. LaPierre noted although the current rates are adequate to maintain day to day operational costs, they do fall short of anticipated maintenance and some impending repairs as uncovered by the exhaustive study done over the past year. The current household rate of $26.10 per month is well below the Southwest Michigan average of roughly $35. The Wightman financial study recommends both an incremental rate increase and the acquisition of $1.5 million bond in ’22-’23 and another $1.4 million in ’29-’30 to make up the difference. Mayor Rick Hall asked for a second proposal scenario wherein incremental rate increases alone could be implemented to give the city the means to self-fund rather than acquire debt. In any case, it will be up to the commissioners to sort it all out to come up with a solution to the long-range budget.