Goddard begins water rate talks

Dripping faucet, low angle view

By Nancy D. Borst

GODDARD – The Goddard City Council at its meeting Monday began what will be a multi-meeting discussion of the city’s water rates. The meeting was held via Zoom.
The focus in this first installment was understanding current water and sewer rates, including debt retirement for both funds. The minimum water/sewer bill in the city is $80.91. That is for a user that does not exceed the 2,000 gallons of water included in the base rate. The combined base rate for such customers is $40.52, with another $40.39 for debt service.
Treasurer Matt Lawn led the discussion and noted that the city’s water debt service payments remain static until the current debt is retired in 2034. The sewer debt service, however, was structured to “balloon” every five years. Lawn said the city structured the debt that way because it anticipated there would be the same level of residential growth from 2010-2020 as there was from 2000-2010. That did not happen. The city has continued to grow but at a lesser rate.
The sewer debt service payment – currently $500,000 – will increase to $544,670 in 2024 and to $589,340 in 2025-2028. The debt will be retired in 2029.
The council at its next meeting on Oct. 19 will see how Goddard’s rates compare to other Tier I cities in the Wichita metro area. Goddard and Maize are the only two suburban cities with their own water supply. The rest purchase water from the city of Wichita. The question of what – if any – changes should be made to rates will be discussed at the Nov. 2 meeting.
In other business, the council:
-Approved a proposal from the Goddard Lions Club to post a sign at the community garden to honor longtime volunteer and Lion David Curtis. The city also approved a proposal from the Lions to purchase and plant $3,000 in new trees in the same area as the garden, with the city determining the exact locations. The Lions club has offered to water the trees for the first year.
-Approved repairs to three of the city’s mixer pumps used at the wastewater treatment plant. The pumps are inoperable and will be sent to Fluid Equipment for rebuild and repairs at a cost of $14,622.