By Scott Unger • Of the News-Register • 

McMinnville council to vote on new utility fee; hearing tonight

Residents of McMinnville could soon see a $13 increase to their monthly utility bill if city council approves a new “city services charge” after a public hearing Tuesday night night. Commercial and industrial users will pay other new fees added to water bills.

The fees have been discussed since last October as a way to address a $1.8 million shortfall in the city’s general fund, which supports services including public safety, library, park maintenance and homeless and housing support.

If approved, residential units will see a $13 charge added to their monthly electric bill from McMinnville Water and Light, while residents in apartment complexes and mobile homes will be charged an additional $9.75 and low income residents participating in federal or state low income assistance programs will pay another $1.30 per month, according to the resolution.

Commercial and industrial clients will see added charges for general services water costs based on the size of their water meter.

The new charges were discussed prior to the passage of the city’s 2022-23 fiscal budget, however city council opted to use $1.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding in lieu of instituting the new service fee.

The city plans to use the estimated $1.1 million generated from seven months of the fee - along with $163,269 in Transient Lodging Tax funds - to replace the ARPA funds.

If approved, the city will begin charging customers in December or January, according to City Manager Jeff Towery.

The McMinnville City Council will hold a public hearing on the issue and potentially vote on the ordinance at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kent Taylor Civic Hall.




Maybe we can put this article with the one about the ARPA funds, cancel the new fees (taxes) and electric vehicles and pay the current bills. I know what you are going to say, the ARPA funds will cover funding shortfalls due to covid but not shortfalls due to mismanagement and overspending. Got it.


I think citizens should demand an independent audit of how our city has been spending its money, and it should be done immediately and quickly. That is a huge shortfall with no explanation and no new money should be collected or spent until the audit is complete.


Rest assured, it's already a done deal.


Maybe these city council members should pay for their own legal council instead of dinging the people of McMinnville. Ya think?

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