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Rates hold steady - for now

Crews work on the storm water project along 21st Street in Billings Park in Superior on Wednesday afternoon. (Jed Carlson/

Superior's City Council adopted three financial plans Tuesday night to maintain city operations, and fund the city's storm water and wastewater utilities.

Funding the city's storm water utility this year comes with little change to the overall budget, and no increase in fees paid by businesses or residents.

And wastewater customers won't feel the pinch of a rate increase - for now - in spite of higher health insurance and depreciation costs.

Earlier this year, the city's finance committee approved a study to establish an appropriate rate structure to begin building reserves for extensive capital projects needed to meet anticipated nitrogen and phosphorus removal requirements.

The study recommended rate increases of more than 12 percent for a number of years.

The city's finance committee plans to discuss the study over the next couple months before making a recommendation to the council.

The last rate increase was in 2007.

The finance committee meets at 5 p.m. Thursday in Room 204 of the Government Center.

A recommendation for new rates is expected in August.

The council also approved changes to its 2010 capital improvement program and formally adopted its 2011 plan for projects with a life of 10 years or more that exceed $10,000 in value.

The plan for 2010 includes funding for a new pavilion in Billings Park, painting at Fairlawn Mansion and a variety of road and sidewalks, in addition to equipment for the city police and fire departments.

The plan includes funding for joint projects with Douglas County in 2011 for updated financial software and computer-aided dispatch and records management system for emergency services. The existing system is expected to be obsolete by the end of next year.

Next year's plan include replacement of restrooms and play equipment at Billings Park and lighting ski trails in the Superior Municipal Forest.