The Zachary City Council on Tuesday voted to raise prices for installing new water and gas meters. The prices have not been raised since 2007, said Meghan Whittington, of the city’s Utilities Department.
Previously, a new gas meter cost $450 inside city limits and $550 outside city limits. That has gone up to $650 and $750, respectively. Prices to install a water meter, which depend on the size and if the location is inside city limits, range from $550 to $3,325.
The changes affect both residential and commercial customers.
In other business, the council gave preliminary approval for several variances from building codes that would allow construction of an EMS station on Carpenter Road off La. 64 to have prefabricated metal wall panels and be 30 feet from the road instead of the required 50 feet. The council denied a request to build a wooden fence around a dumpster instead of the required brick enclosure.
Some council members expressed concern that EMS is trying to cut costs, but others pointed out that the city should not discourage the opening of a new station.
“I don’t believe this sets a negative precedent,” Councilman Ben Cavin said, adding that the station will not be located on a main road through town.
The variances must still go before the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission for final approval.
Also, council members voted to eliminate a requirement for members of the Zachary Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board to be residents or qualified voters of Zachary or residents of East Baton Rouge Parish. Fire Chief Danny Kimble said it would open more opportunities for qualified people to serve on the board.
“Both departments would be better represented down the road by this being done,” he said.