The Toledo City Council was told Tuesday evening during a public workshop that despite recent increases in water rates, the city is “just getting by” in terms of system maintenance and have only a little reserve for line breaks and leaks. The system, said the consultant, is fifty/sixty years old, and in some places older, meaning the town is right on the edge. He recommended the current water bill for the average residence rise from $32.39 to $48.40 a month. City Manager Michelle Amberg says even with the increase Toledo ratepayers would still be significantly under the state average for water service areas the size of Toledo. The council was also told that a higher water rate would help the city better meet its financial obligations when it sells bonds to renovate the town’s water intake system on the Siletz River as well as a new water storage tank contemplated for the north side of town. Amberg said the council will talk more about water rates at their next formal council meeting January 18th.
The Council also learned that they MUST appoint a new mayor, not call for a special election. The commandment is contained in the city charter. Amberg said the council can pick one among themselves to take the top slot or pick someone in the community they feel is qualified. Former Mayor Monica Lyons resigned recently due to medical issues. The council will also be talking about the selection at the January 18th meeting.