There was plenty of disagreement during Thursday’s Dunsmuir City Council meeting but general agreement that the road ahead remains long before reaching any decisions about future water and sewer rates.

There was plenty of disagreement during Thursday’s Dunsmuir City Council meeting but general agreement that the road ahead remains long before reaching any decisions about future water and sewer rates.

A report was heard at the meeting on the recently received water and sewer rate study, and there was great enthusiasm among councilors and the 20-plus audience members when it was announced that the City has received preliminary approval for a multi-million dollar grant/principal forgiveness loan from the state that would help the city meet EPA water purity standards and repair and upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant and sewer collection system.

On other agenda items, councilors voted unanimously without discussion to dedicate certain net revenues of the sewer enterprise fund for repayment of CWRSF assistance.

And, after much discussion, they tabled a vote on a resolution to establish remote meeting attendance for council members, directing staff to further research the issue.

The meeting began with financial officer Brenda Bains’ presentation on the recently received results of  the water and sewer rate analysis conducted by Rural Communities Assistance Corporation.

Among many issues discussed in the report were the inverted rate table the city now uses, which has water rates dropping as consumption increases. That goes against state policy, which encourages increasing rates for higher consumers as a way to promote water conservation.

The city also now uses a complex system that has many different rates for different kinds of users.

Mayor Nick Mitchell stressed the importance of having “a fair and equitable” rate system for all.

Public hearings and town hall meetings will be held during the process of determining new rates, Mitchell said after he limited Peter Arth to three minutes of public comments on what Arth described as “the most important issues facing Dunsmuir.”

The Mayor said the study provides data needed to move forward toward determining a new rate system.

The Oct. 20 regular meeting of the Dunsmuir City Council has been cancelled. The next regular meeting has been slated for Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.

Many more details from last week’s meeting will be reported prior to the next meeting.