Attendance low at meeting on water rate hike

Only one citizen from Linden attended the June 26 public meeting to discuss a possible water hike for Linden residents and businesses.

Linden City Administrator Bob Swisher spoke about the reasoning behind the possible water rate hike. 

“The water rate change is primarily because our water system is getting older our rates are extremely low, but there are two real functions behind it and number one is our water system is a separate budget from the city and it should be self-supportive,” said Swisher. 

Swisher spoke about how city workers have to spend time on water issues.

“I can’t continue to have the water take up my time and not pay for it,” said Swisher. “We have gotten into the habit of using our city workers for water and it is not a two-way street. 

“When you look at our office time a large portion of our time … goes towards handling water business,” said Swisher. “I am easily spending over half my time on water.”

Swisher spoke about the budget for the city and expenses.

“We run our budget so tightly and this year we will be looking at some form of a tax increase -- but in the back of my mind I continually think about family’s budget that has to pay their tax and water bill and I don’t want to lose anyone in this change,” said Swisher. 

Swisher said the water system is business-friendly.

“We don’t have a commercial tap fee, they [businesses] pay the same as a house, but we do require a larger deposit for the business and the first thousand gallons cost the same for a residential home or a business,” said Swisher.

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