An increase in water rates and potential changes pertaining to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will be among Thursday’s action items for the Brenham City Council.

The city says in order to fund expansion of the water treatment plant, along with the completion of groundwater wells and water main replacements, it will need to issue approximately $40 million in debt over the next three years.  It says part of the cost will be funded by growth from new water connections and impact fees paid by developers, but it will still need a series of water rate increases to generate necessary revenue to support the higher debt payments. 

A 5 percent increase in water rates on all customer classes is proposed, effective October 12th.  Future increases will be based on a cost-of-service study, growth in new water connections and impact fees collected on new development. 

Meanwhile for electric, the city has retained NewGen Strategies Solution to review the city’s current rate structure as it may apply to current and future EV charging stations.  Current EV stations do not include demand charges, but a new tariff would establish a separate rate class for stations, allowing city staff to monitor their load factor and potentially implement ways to address power cost recovery. 

In other business, the council will act on the second reading of the new $89.5 million budget and property tax rate of $0.4584 per $100 valuation. 

Two items that were tabled at previous meetings will come back for consideration.  One is revising the city’s zoning ordinance to clarify the definition of food truck sites, prohibiting the storage of food trucks on residential property; change R-1 single-family residential zoning to allow duplexes and twin homes with specific use permits; adjust R-2 mixed residential zoning to allow accessory dwelling units and twin homes as permitted uses and including parameters for twin home and townhome developments; delete information on noise regulations that duplicates or contradicts the noise nuisance ordinance; and remove provisions that allow conditions to be placed upon variance requests. 

The other item being brought back is an ordinance to create a reinvestment zone for commercial tax phase-in at 209 South Market Street.  The location is being modernized to become The Southern Folly, an entertainment and meeting venue and bar in downtown Brenham.

The council will also consider:

  • An amendment to the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) agreement for engineering services for water and wastewater projects.  The amendment would remove a program for lead and copper management from the professional services agreement with Strand Associates, changing the total value from $177,000 to $159,500.
  • An amendment to the professional services agreement with Strand Associates related to 2022 sanitary sewer improvements.  The amendment will remove wording related to construction and only reference design work for the Industrial Boulevard lift station, changing the value of the agreement from $379,000 to $355,600. 
  • Appointing Robin Hutchens as deputy city secretary.
  • Accepting a bid for the Hohlt Park synthetic turf improvement project.

The council will meet Thursday at 1 p.m. at Brenham City Hall.

Click here to view the agenda packet for Thursday's meeting.

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One Comment

  1. Looks like we are going to have water rate increases every October. Looks like the City, County and BISD are sinking quickly. We old folks will not be able to hold out much longer. Covid just messed up this country and the way it looks it isn’t going to get better soon. I guess natural gas and electricity.

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