Silver Bay will have special voteOn Tuesday the Silver Bay City Council approved ballot questions for a May 10 special election. The city will be asking for voter permission to run a municipal utility in connection with a proposed eco-park along the waterfront.
On Tuesday the Silver Bay City Council approved ballot questions for a May 10 special election. The city will be asking for voter permission to run a municipal utility in connection with a proposed eco-park along the waterfront.
Silver Bay needs to either own or form a cooperative to run the facility. The two questions on the ballot would ask for permission to run the utility and ask to incur debt or raise bonds for the project. More than a simple majority (62 percent) needs to vote “yes” for the first question while a majority will do for the second question.
Mayor Scott Johnson said the city is attempting to do something no other place in the world has done. The facility will use various “green” methods to produce energy for businesses. The energy from the eco-park may go to the residents of Silver Bay, not just inside the park.
The city is still working on getting funding for the project. Representatives from Silver Bay lobbied legislators at the state capital last week about the “green” project.
“The financing is tough,” City Administrator Lana Fralich said.
There will be public forums to discuss the plan at 6 p.m. March 23 and April 19 at Re-union Hall.
Water and sewer rates
A water and sewer rate change was approved for commercial accounts by the council. The rate will go into effect when certain use exceeds a certain cap. The change will not affect residential hookups.
Silver Bay is struggling to keep up with maintenance for its facilities. The rate increases could mean a revenue increase of about $200,000 for both water and sewer charges for the biggest users in the city. There are plans to have something in place June 1.