Right now, decisions on rate hikes are made by the city council during regular council meetings.
But Councilman Steve Cohn says a special commission would focus more attention on rate increases and that’s a better way to go than mixing the issue in with other council business.
"This is not a good way to get public comment. It really doesn’t help us get constructive feedback on our rates and our rate structure."
The council has asked city staff to come up with a plan for creating an advisory board. The council would still have the final say on rate hikes…but the board would give them advice. Jessica Hess with the city’s Utilities Department says the panel would hold a series of meetings.
"…where they would have members of the public be available to come in and make comments on our proposed rate increase."
The proposed committee would include seven members with expertise in finance, law, engineering or solid waste.
City council members may approve the proposal Tuesday. If all goes as planned, the committee could be in place by next spring.