From left, city manager Bruce Rogers, mayor Brad True, and councilmen Jimmy Luster, Nick Bland and Cory Gayman listen to citizens’ concerns about dilapidated properties in El Dorado Springs.

Water rate increases passed

Nuisance problems and dilapidated buildings continue to be of concern of some El Dorado Springs residents who want city officials to take a more aggressive stand against homeowners who do not take care of their property.

Police chief Jarrod Schiereck perhaps articulated best the problems law enforcement and city officials have to negotiate near the end of a 50-minute public forum during the Monday, July 1, meeting of the El Dorado Springs city council.

“How do you talk with these people?” Schiereck asked rhetorically. “It’s going to take almost a society change to make that happen. I think we should also look if there’s any groups interested in reaching out to these folks, because it is a group that needs to be reached.”

The dialogue began with resident Glenda Baker asking the councilmen present — mayor Brad True, Jimmy Luster, Nick Bland and Cory Gayman — how many of them had read the nuisance and dangerous building ordinances. All indicated they had at some point.

Baker claimed enforcement of the ordinances was lax, a claim challenged by city manager Bruce Rogers, who pointed out approximately 70 buildings had been torn down by the city over the last 12 years.

Baker was unimpressed, saying property values had declined during the period.

Luster, who had been especially vocal in recent meetings defending city enforcement, reiterated his stance and expressed his personal frustration with the state laws the city has to observe to take down a property.

“We do the best we can, we try,” Luster said. “When I started in law enforcement for the whole state of Missouri, we had one book for the entire state. When I retired, it was 20 or 21 books. We can only do so much.”

Another resident, Shirley Simmons, reported on a “bad neighbor” who lives near her property on Radio Lane and wanted to know what the city could do about him. “We need protection, too,” Simmons said.

Rogers suggested writing to state Rep. Warren Love and Sen. Sandy Crawford to get state laws changed to put more teeth in enforcing nuisance ordinances.

The remaining 20 minutes of the meeting was devoted to passing Ordinance 1918, which immediately raised water rates 25 cents per 1,000 gallons of usage and will add similar increases in 2020 and 2021. The bill passed 4-0 with councilman Nathan Murrell absent.

More contracts for performers at the upcoming El Dorado Springs Picnic also were approved. Carrie E. McWilliams, Paula Newman, Emily Shinn and Tiffany McGuirk will each receive $50 for their services.

The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 15.

Paying more for water

With passage of Ordinance 1918, El Dorado Springs residents will see an increase in their water bill. All customers will pay a basic monthly minimum based on the size of their water meter.

Meter size    Monthly minimum

5/8”            $  6.91

3/4”            $  7.40

1”               $  8.87

1 1/2”         $ 12.09

2”               $ 19.49

3”               $ 73.94

4”               $ 94.10

6”               $141.16

8”               $194.94

Water consumption rates were immediately raised 25 cents per 1,000 gallons and will be raised 25 cents again in January 2020 and January 2021. Rates listed are per 1,000 gallons.

Consumption                    Old rate    New rate  Jan. 2020  Jan. 2021

First 5,000 gallons                $2.47        $2.72        $2.97        $3.22

Each additional 1,000 gallons $1.71        $1.96        $2.21        $2.46

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