City Commission raises rates - appoints new commissioner

The Langdon City Commission had a very productive meeting on the evening of Monday, January 23. The issue of raising rates that been discussed at previous meetings was finally decided upon, and the Commission had two citizens approach with interest in being appointed to the Commission.

The discussion of raising rates in regards to certain utilities has been on-going for a number of meetings. Following Langdon City Auditor RoxAnne Hoffarth’s review of data, she explained that certain utilities were falling thousands of dollars short of their expenses.

Street lights are falling over $4,000 short of the actual cost every year. Current rates that are charged for this are $2.65 for commercial and $2.05 for residential. Hoffarth suggested that raising both rates to $3 would increase revenue from that utility charge to $6,000. Other utilities that need to see a change in revenue raised are mosquito spraying, which is currently set at $1.50 for six months out of the year, along with water and sanitation rates.

The Commission approved raising the street light rate to $3 for each type of account and changing the mosquito charge to be included in utility bills for residents year-round rather than just the six months. Sanitation will see a $1 raise in rates, and water will have the 6 percent raise that had previously been discussed and approved.

Hoffarth informed the commissioners that following the previous meeting, the auditor’s office had received several calls from citizens interested in the open Commission seat. Two citizens that were interested were at the meeting, Dale Johnson and Darin Kaercher. The Commission asked both to explain why they were interested in becoming a city commissioner. After giving each a few minutes, the commissioners voted in secret to appoint one. Kaercher was selected, and Johnson was invited to fill out the forms to be placed on the ballot for the June primary if interested. Kaercher was sworn in that evening.

In Other Business

• Hoffarth informed the Commission that a few weeks ago the city office suffered a computer virus attack that caused major damage. The virus caused the loss of all the city’s Windows and Excel documents requiring Hoffarth and Deputy Auditor Frankie Stremick to recreate many forms. The loss also includes all of the city’s campsite reservations for 2020 that had been made. Hoffarth informed the Commission that the city has implemented better anti-virus software and will be paying for back-ups now to secure the valuable data.

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