Portage council sidesteps action on sewer rate increase

2013-04-07T17:45:00Z Portage council sidesteps action on sewer rate increaseJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | The Portage City Council declined to take any action last week on two issues involving the city's Utility Services Department.

A council agenda posted the day before Tuesday's meeting had listed items regarding a proposed sanitary sewer rate increase for commercial properties and a revision on a vacate policy. Both issues had been discussed and approved by the Utility Services Board last month and forwarded to the City Council for action.

However, the items were pulled from the agenda just minutes before the meeting began.

Councilman Ted Uzelac, who chairs the council's ordinance committee, said the committee, after holding its own meeting, is not sure whether council action is required on the matters. He said they've asked for clarification from the city attorney on the matter and won't act until that clarification is received.

Mayor James Snyder, who also chairs the Utility Services Board, said he does believe the council needs to approve the measures.

The agenda mix-up also caused some discussion among council members at the close of last Tuesday's meeting as to the process of moving a new or amended ordinance through the adoption process.

In a consensus, the council decided that any items to be considered for action by the council at its regular monthly meeting must be placed on the agenda by the previous Thursday. Emergency items, they said, could be an exception.

In addition, Uzelac set a schedule of ordinance committee meetings for the second Tuesdays of May, July, September and November, at 6:30 p.m., to consider any ordinances prior to them being placed on the council's regular agenda.

 

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