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|Aldermen approve rate hikes|
Families and businesses that receive water and garbage service from the city of West Monroe will notice a slight increase in their water bills.
The West Monroe Board of Aldermen approved new rates for water, sewer service and garbage collection at its regular meeting Tuesday.
West Monroe Mayor Dave Norris said the new rates were only slightly higher but necessary because of increased costs.
"We're still probably the cheapest provider of any of these services of anybody that doesn't have a tax to support these services," Norris told aldermen.
West Monroe city clerk Benny Chellette said the cost to the average family would be minimal and estimated the increase would amount to less than $5 per customer.
The board unanimously approved the rate hike.
In other business, aldermen voted unanimously to grant Norris the authority to enter into a new beverage services and advertising contract for all city facilities.
West Monroe currently has a contract with Coca-Cola Bottling Co. to provide beverage machines at all city facilities, including the convention center and the Ike Hamilton Expo Center.
That contract is set to expire later this year.
Norris said the city was approached by another vendor, which offered the city a contract for the services.
Norris called the terms "very beneficial," should West Monroe opt to allow the unnamed vendor to install new beverage machines in the city's facilities.
"They would pay us to do that," Norris said. "They have offered us some very desirable terms."
Though the ordinance adopted at Tuesday's meeting gave the mayor the authority to enter into the contract, West Monroe city attorney Doug Caldwell pointed out the contract had not been finalized.
"It is still somewhat under negotiation," Caldwell said. "If it doesn't substantially change from the way it is now, he'd be authorized to sign it."
Norris added other vendors still had time to approach the city before the expiration of the current contract.
Aldermen also unanimously approved a resolution to designate The Ouachita Citizen as the Official Journal for the city of West Monroe.
State law requires municipalities and certain government agencies to maintain a contract with local publications to publish legal notices, upcoming meeting agendas, and other official announcements.
While offering the resolution to the aldermen, Norris commended The Ouachita Citizen.
"The Ouachita Citizen has served in that capacity for a long time," Norris said.