VIENNA — Vienna City Council has been asked to consider a water rate increase for the city’s water customers to help fund repairs and improvements to the water system.
At Thursday’s council meeting, Public Works Director Craig Metz gave a presentation detailing the Esri program that helps him and his employees keep track of the water and sewer information for the city of Vienna.
During this presentation Metz said there are several areas in Vienna that have weekly water line breaks. He has been begging council for 23 years to increase the water rates so the public works department has more money to put toward water and sewer projects.
“Everybody loves a low water rate,” said Metz. “I don’t, I can’t do anything without any money, and right now the city of Vienna is setting the 15th lowest out of 367 companies in the state of West Virginia.”
Metz explained that without money, his department cannot move forward with projects. Based off of his records, Metz said Vienna has had 147 water breaks this year. He believes that to address these issues, Public Works should sit down with the Utility Board of Vienna as well as council and decide what the priority areas of Vienna should be.
Council Recorder Melissa Elam asked Mayor Randall Rapp about council and the utility board holding a special meeting to address the water breaks. Rapp said council will schedule something.
“There’s no easy way to do a rate increase, but I don’t think anybody can argue and the citizens can’t argue that it is needed,” said Elam.
Metz will give the same presentation at next week’s Vienna Utility Board meeting at 1 p.m. Sept. 17.
Also at Thursday’s meeting, council approved a bid to paint the Vienna Community Building and a bid for the roofing project at the 46 Street Fire Station.
Council unanimously approved the Vienna Community Building project bid of $17,500 from American Star Painting. Rapp noted this is the same company that painted the Vienna Senior Center.
“They are a local company and do an excellent job,” he said.
Council unanimously approved the fire station project bid of $16,000 from Action Construction.
Vienna Police Chief Michael A. Pifer demonstrated the use of the Vienna Police Department’s new mobile app to help residents find information, view alerts and submit anonymous tips from their smartphones. The application, developed by tip411, is available for free download via the Google Play Store, iTunes App Store or by visiting the City of Vienna website at vienna-wv.com.
The Vienna PD can respond back to anonymous tips and create an anonymous two-way conversation. Residents without a smartphone or those who prefer not to download that app can text VIENNAPD and their message to 847411 (tip411).
“I don’t know anybody else in the Mid-Ohio Valley that is doing that,” said Pifer, adding he was excited to use it and interact with Vienna.
“I think it’s going to be a really nice thing for the public and our citizens and the people that visit Vienna,” he said.