Oronogo Board approves annual budget, wage increases and adjusts water, sewer rates

The Oronogo Board of Aldermen on Monday approved a 2023 budget that looks exceptionally good due to $842,748 the city expects to receive from the sale of its natural gas system to Spire.

The sale, approved by voters in November, is awaiting approval by the Missouri Public Service Commission. 

Projected general revenue of $1,941,681 exceeds $1,087,868 in expenses by $855,813.

The board approved ordinances giving a 5.9% cost of living increase to all employees.

Another ordinance that passed increases the maximum employee retirement contribution the city will match from 3% to 5% of their annual salary – up to a maximum $2,500 city match. The previous maximum match was $1,500.

The overall budget, including separate funds, is $512,424 in the red. It includes an abnormal amount for sewer expenses, $3,531,325, compared to revenue of $2,413,600, indicating a loss of $1,202,725. Most of that can be explained by the major sewer system upgrade, which is expected to begin soon.

As of April 22, Treasurer Linda Lacy reported the city’s operating account had a balance of $2,521,032.

The 2022-23 budget year starts July 1.

Water and sewer rate increases

The board approved an ordinance to increase the water and sewer rates for all users.

Within the city, water customers will be charged $19.06 (18.50 now) for the first 1,000 gallons and $4.12 ($4.00 now) for each 1,000 gallons after that.

Water customers outside the city will be charged $28.33 ($27.50 now) for the first 1,000 gallons and $7.73 ($7.50 now) for each 1,000 gallons after that.

The new sewer rate for customers within the city will be $15.45 ($15.00 now) for the first 1,000 gallons per month and $5.67 ($5.50 now) for each 1,000 gallons after that.

Customers outside the city will be charged an extra $7.73 above the in-town rate ($23.18) for the first 1,000 gallons and an extra $2.83 ($8.50) for each of the 1,000 gallons after that. The current additional charges are $7.50 and $2.75.

Roof replacement

The board approved by a vote of 4-1 a contract ordinance with Romesburg Construction for the replacement of the City Hall roof at a cost of $33,779. Matt Kroutil (2nd Ward) objected because replacement of the mansard on the front of the building is included in the bid and that 4W Building Material, a local company connected to Mayor Charles Wilkins, will be one of the suppliers. City Attorney Derek Snyder issued an opinion that there is no conflict of interest.

Tammy Talent resigns from her 2nd Ward seat

Tammy Talent, in city administration since being elected as a 2nd Ward alderman in 2019, submitted her resignation, which was accepted Monday by a 5-0 vote. She was absent.

She was mayor for seven months, from Aug. 2020 until April 2021, when Charles Wilkins was elected as mayor and she was elected as 2nd Ward alderman again.

Her retirement letter indicated she disagreed with policies regarding who could post information on the city website and Facebook page.

 

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