After discussing the issue last month and moving forward with a public hearing on the matter, the Marionville board of aldermen last week voted to approve an ordinance increasing the city's sewer rates.

At the public hearing -- held immediately before last Thursday's regular board meeting -- city collector Kathy Urschel explained that the base rate would not change, but the amount owed per 1,000 gallons of water used would go up to $6.20 per thousand gallons. This is an increase of 50 cents per thousand gallons.

No members of the public came opposed to the increase. Alderman Donna White commented that while the timing isn't the best, an increase in rates is necessary to maintain upkeep to the sewer system.

During the old business portion of the board meeting, White repeated that the increase is needed so that the city may get closer to qualifying for grants, which it currently does not.

A vote by the five present members of the board ended with for votes in favor and one opposed (Jessica Wilson).

The only other votes taken on the evening were both unanimous, as the board voted in favor of an ordinance approving the proposed pay scale and compensation of wages for city employees and a motion to accept the resignation of Shirley Peiter from the park board.

Previously in the meeting, the board heard departmental reports from emergency management director Kris Bowling and Aurora fire chief Robert Ward. In regard to last month's discussion about installing new storm sirens, Bowling stated new antennas have arrived but sirens have not yet been shipped. He went on to say that Empire District will provide and install the new siren pole at no charge.

Ward then gave a presentation about the Iris Alerting System, which can be used to alert citizens about various things including weather conditions or upcoming council meetings. For a fee of $8 annually, citizens can choose to receive alerts from the city government.

Ward also warned that this or any one system should not be the sole means of receiving emergency alerts.

In new business, the aldermen discussed what to do about the water at the police department, where bottled water is currently being used due to the bad taste of the well water. Alderman Doris Rapp stated that Empire can help with the problem, but the city will have to do some additional work which could cost upwards of $5,000. It was decided that she and Mayor Chris Murphy would seek more information and help on the matter.

Following aldermen and mayor comments, the board voted to adjourn until next month's meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., March 28.