MURPHYSBORO — Murphysboro property owners can expect to see their water bills increase a few dollars, on average, a little more than $4 a month, the council discussed last night.

The water rate increase was approved Tuesday night by the Murphysboro City Council, which is seeking to cover a 12.9 percent increase it is facing in its own water bill from the Kinkaid Reeds Creek Conservancy District; that water district supplies water to Murphysboro and other villages, cities and entities in the area.

The change comes as the City Council continues to work on its proposed 2018 budget, which is facing a $20,000 shortfall in its General Fund and $160,000 in its Water and Sewer Fund.

The city will have to approve the 2018 budget before year's end, after it undergoes a public viewing and public hearing. The city council will have to approve the final draft at its final meeting of the year on Dec. 19th.

For fiscal year 2017, the city approved a general fund of $4,962,511 in revenues and $4,939,383 in expenditures.

Council members and those gathered also heard that the city's attorney is drafting a letter to Union Pacific Railroad, requesting information about its claimed ownership of a portion of North 23rd Street and connected property.

The mayor also opened bids from four companies seeking to repair the roof at the Senior Citizens Center. Conditionally, the council accepted the lowest bid from Martin Roofing company out of Lebanon, contingent upon clarification about a bid spec from another roofing company.

stephanie.esters@thesouthern.com

618-351-5805

On Twitter: @scribeest

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Reporter

Stephanie Esters is a reporter covering Jackson and Union counties.

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