SIOUX CITY | The Sioux City Council nixed a proposed water rate adjustment for two communities that purchase water from the city Monday, directing staff to instead renegotiate the city's agreement with the two communities.
The council voted 4-0 to delete the proposed adjustment, which would have charged South Sioux City 2.8 percent more for water service while lowering the cost for Dakota Dunes' water service by 0.4 percent. Councilwoman Rhonda Capron was absent from the meeting.
Mayor Bob Scott, who made the motion to delete the item, pointed to a 6.65 percent water rate hike passed earlier this year for Sioux City residents.
“How does the average person in Sioux City sitting out there today say, 'My water rate went up 7 percent and Dakota Dunes is going down .4 percent'? How do they understand that? Because I don’t," Scott said.
Sioux City has had waterworks agreements with Dakota Dunes and South Sioux City since 2002 and has a formula for adjusting the rates each year.
City documents say the new rates are calculated using a percentage of operational expenses from the previous fiscal year and also include a 15 percent markup.
Water Plant Superintendent Brad Puetz said representatives of the two communities have been in discussions about amending the agreement.
"We understand that it needs to be changed," he said.
Jeff Dooley, district manager for the Dakota Dunes Community Improvement District, told the council that Dakota Dunes is open to discussion on the agreement to include more of the expenses Sioux City faces for capital improvements to its waterworks system.
"We value this partnership, and we want to work with you to get a mutually agreeable solution to how this rate is charged," Dooley said.
No representatives of South Sioux City spoke at the meeting.
Puetz said last year, Dakota Dunes purchased about 21 million gallons from Sioux City, and South Sioux City purchased about 13 million.
In other action Monday, the council approved construction documents for an estimated $170,000 improvement project at Riverside Aquatic Center, 1301 Riverside Blvd.
The project will include removal and replacement of pedestrian areas, clearing and grubbing and storm sewer improvements. The documents include an optional shade structure.