Council approves 2012 water and sewer rates, gives go ahead for jobs incubator

Good news for De Soto water and sewer customers, while water and sewer rates for 2012 will be increasing, the increase is lower than predicted.

De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle proposed a rate increase of one percent for water rates and 4.8 percent for sewer rates, lower than the previously predicted need of five percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

"Both the water and sewer funds finally appear to be gaining traction so I'm comfortable our cash balances can handle the lower rate increases," he told the council.

The new rates will go into effect with the February billing cycle.

The council also gave the go ahead for city staff to enter a lease agreement with local business man Jo Bisogno allowing him to open a jobs incubator in classroom space in city hall.

Bisogno and his associate Ken O'Toole plan to use the incubator to train potential employees for open jobs in the De Soto area.

"This is a new approach to an incubator model," O'Toole said. "We're hoping it will be attractive to local businesses needing employees and to citizens needing work."

The incubator will occupy space in the west wing of City Hall where the Johnson County Sheriff's Department previously had their De Soto office. As part of the incubator agreement, the sheriff's deputies have relocated their small office to the third floor of Memorial Hall downtown, also the site of the Northwest Consolidated Fire District offices.

Other council actions included the following:

  • Designating The Legal Record of Johnson County as the city's official newspaper for publication of legal notices and public hearings. The city's previous paper, The Olathe News, is no longer in circulation. The Legal Record is published every Tuesday and is available for subscription or can be read at city hall.

  • Appointing Bob Garrett to the Northwest Consolidated Fire District Board of Directors, replacing Kent Dvorak, who recently moved. Garrett, who is also on the city's Planning Commission, has 20 years of experience as a firefighter.

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