An ordinance regarding annual water and sewer rate increases over the next five years received unanimous approval during the final reading at Monday night’s Nevada City Council meeting.

Beginning with the August bill, a 5-percent annual water rate increase and 1-percent annual sewer rate increase will take effect. As a result, Nevada residents will see their water and sewer bills increase an average of $2.86 over the next five years, while commercial customers will see an average increase of $1.77 during the next five years. The increased rates will be used to fund infrastructure improvements, equipment maintenance and maintain the reserves in both the water and sewer departments.

Representatives from Burke Corporation were once again in attendance at the council meeting to hear the discussion about the proposed rate increases, as well as voice their opinions about the ordinance. During the June 24 council meeting, Burke representatives requested that the city reconsider how the increases are implemented to customers and change the period of increased rates from five years to two years.

HR Green, the engineering firm that conducted the city’s water and sewer rate study and advised the city on how much the rates should be increased, provided Burke with a response to the corporation’s requested rate increase changes. David Weber, president at Burke, said Burke was not in a position to comment on the information they received from the city, because they had not had time to look over it.

During Weber’s address to the council prior to the vote, he said that Burke just wants everyone to work together to do what’s best for the city. "It is in the best interest of all parties - Burke, the City of Nevada and Nevada residents - that we have a positive working relationship," Weber said.

Also on the agenda was the proposed sale of property adjoining 701 Westwood. Dr. Rick Hawbaker, who resides at the address, has requested to purchase the property from the city. Originally, the 50-feet wide section of land was set aside to become a trailhead, per city requirements that 5 percent of subdivision land be set aside for future park space. However, due to the lot’s steep incline and inability to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, a trailhead could not be constructed.

Hawbaker said he moved to the residence in June and has since been spraying and mowing the adjoining property, continuing the actions of the previous homeowner. He said he has no plans to build on the property and would like to purchase it for $2,500.

Council voted to send the proposed sale to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Parks and Recreation Board for further consideration.