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Chief: Water rate increase needed for public safety

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BAKER - Once again, changes in water bills for Baker residents are on the table for discussion.

Chief of Police Mike Knaps said he's proposing that the city council increase the base water rate from $9 to between $15 and $20 in order to make up for cuts to public safety in Baker's budget.

Public safety was cut because the city was looking at a deficit of almost $1 million. Several positions within the police and fire departments were axed because of those cuts.

Knaps said if something is not done soon, the city is going to suffer further.

"It's going to leave a major void in our budget for next year, which will start July 1, 2015. It will leave a major hole because we have already used all of our surpluses that we have to make this year's budget work where we have it," he said.

But one council member said she wants more answers before anything happens.

"But we need to be able to tell our citizens down to the penny, where this money will be going. And at this time, not even the council has been told that," said councilwoman Joyce Burges.

The next chance the council will have to take up the issue is their Oct. 28 meeting.



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