Grandview passes budget with utility hikes

GRANDVIEW -- As first suggested in October, the city of Grandview will raise utility rates in January.

Otherwise, the Grandview City Council passed a 2011 budget this week that is much the same as last year.

"We're just going to do business the way we've been doing it," said Cus Arteaga, city administrator.

The $14.3 million budget relies on rate hikes of 6 percent for water and sewer, and 5 percent for irrigation, which will add a total of $3.94 to each resident's monthly utility bill.

Meanwhile, the budget leaves 17 percent in reserves, grants no wage increases and doesn't change staffing.

Arteaga still is negotiating with some unions, but he doesn't expect wage increases next year for any of the city's 59 employees.

The city plans to use a combination of city funds and grants for three capital projects in 2011. They are the widening of a portion of Wine Country Road, construction of a community center and a new library.

Meanwhile, the council is still discussing whether to impose a $20 car tab fee to raise $180,000 for street repair.