WIUM Tristates Public Radio

West Burlington Sells Lots, Raises Service Rates

May 29, 2015

The city of West Burlington is paving the way for the construction of a few more single-family homes.

It auctioned off five vacant lots, this month, along West Glasgow Street, where the city's former public works facility once stood.

They sold for between $21,185-$27,356, with the same bidder purchasing three of the five lots.

City Administrator Dan Gifford said the auction brought in about $28,000 more than anticipated. He said the proceeds would be reinvested in the project.

"We got to build water, sewer and streets to supply these lots," said Gifford.  "The lot sales actually go into that project to help pay for that.”

Gifford said he expects construction on the new homes to get underway this summer.

This is not the first time the city has auctioned off vacant lots following the demolition of a building. Several years ago, the city subdivided the site of the former West Burlington Middle School into four lots for single family homes.

Gifford said three of the homes have been finished, with the fourth nearly complete.

Cost of City Services to Increase

Meanwhile, the West Burlington City Council is expected to finalize a new set of monthly fees for city services next month.

  • Water: +3%/month
  • Garbage: +$0.25/month
  • Recycling: +$0.10/month
  • Sewer: +22.5%/month

Gifford said the hefty hike in the sewer rate, which works out to between $5-$7/month for the average home, is required to help fund a $10-million upgrade of the city's sewer plant. He said the work would bring the facility in line with state and federal standards.

"We are trying to get the rates to the point where they will be in order to pay that loan off when we eventually borrow that money," said Gifford.

Gifford says similar sewer rate increases are expected in the next couple of years to avoid a huge hike in one year.