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Albany City Hall 3 (copy) (copy)

Albany City Hall

Updated water utility service fees will be among the items the Albany City Council will take up during a work session Monday.

Among other items, councilors also are expected to hear a request for direction from John Pascone, director of the Albany-Millersburg Economic Development Corp., on whether Albany should pursue formation of a new enterprise zone. 

They also will look over information on new timelines for completion of improvements to the Santiam-Albany Canal.

The work session is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Municipal Court Room of Albany City Hall. It is open to the public.

Staff members evaluated miscellaneous water utility service fees and charges and determined one should be eliminated, two kept the same and four should be evaluated for possible increases. 

Among fees recommended for increase are the service fee for new accounts during regular hours, which hasn't been updated since 1984. Staff members recommend increasing it from $15 to $20.

The fee schedule also has a listing for new account service fees after hours, but these aren't provided, so staff members recommend its removal.

The city collects account deposits from renters as a security against nonpayment. After two years, if the account is in good standing, the deposit is credited to the account. The $80 deposit was last updated in 2001. Staff recommend increasing the deposit amount to $100.

Currently, the charge to restore service during regular hours is $25. Staff recommend increasing that to $45. The after-hours charge of $60 is recommended to stay the same.

The current fee for past due and disconnection notices is $5, last updated in 2007. Staff members recommend bumping it to $10, saying the fee does not appear to cover costs and is currently less than most neighboring communities charge.

Pascone said he plans to ask councilors what to do about the fact that because Albany's population is now more than 50,000 the city is considered a metropolitan statistical area and no longer can be part of the rural South Santiam Enterprise Zone.

That zone sunsets this coming June anyway, and its other members — Millersburg, Lebanon, Tangent and parts of Linn County — appear to be leaning toward renewing participation. But Albany is no longer eligible, so Pascone said he plans to ask councilors whether the city should form its own.

Enterprise zones are meant to create jobs by exempting businesses from local property taxes on new investments for a specified amount of time.

The zones must be renewed every 10 years. The application for renewal is due June 30.


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