Andrews council approves sewer rate increase

The forthcoming wastewater rate increase for Andrews residents has been reduced, said the Andrews Town Council at its meeting on Monday, May 22.

Two developments enabled the board to make that reduction, explained Council President Bill Johnson. The first was that the town was awarded an additional $525,000 in buy-down grant money from the State Revolving Fund; the second was that the SRF increased the term of the town’s note from 20 to 22 years.

Those developments added up to savings for Andrews residents.

“The fee for 4,000 gallons dropped about $3 on a fixed-cost basis and the variable fee for customers dropped by about $1.08,” said Johnson.

The new fixed cost will be $27.84 per 4,000 gallons of usage while the variable cost will be $11.43 per 1,000 gallons.

A public hearing on the rate increase will be held on Tuesday, May 30, at the Andrews Municipal Building at 6 p.m.

Once the ordinance to raise the rate has been passed, residents can expect to see the new rate reflected on either their July or August bills, council stated.

The board discussed a letter it received earlier that day from United Technologies regarding the presence of trichloroethylene vapors in the Andrews Municipal Building basement. In the letter, United Technologies explained that it wanted to have a mitigation fan installed in the basement that will redirect the vapors outdoors.

Council consented to the fan’s installation, but Johnson called it a “short-term solution to a long-term problem.”

“The problem is the vapors are getting in here,” he said. “This doesn’t address that.”

The board expressed interest in scheduling an executive session next month with the town’s legal counsel, Mike Hartburg, to discuss the situation in more detail.

In other business:

• The town will begin flushing fire hydrants at the end of the month. Johnson said the town’s water may have a temporary odor and discoloration as a result.

• Town Marshal Austin Bullock was given permission to serve as a counselor at Camp HERO, a summer day camp in Huntington conducted by public safety personnel. Also, Bullock reported that his department had received the new radios he ordered.