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Monday, May 2, 2016

Debate flows over town's water bills

Monday, August 14, 2006

Problems with the town's water bills and ledger continued to plague the Russellville Town Council during its monthly meeting last Thursday night.

President Sally Spencer McAfee told council members Jim Rodgers and Scot Bushong that Clerk-Trearsurer Kay Smith would not turn over the water ledgers after being asked repeatedly to do so.

But McAfee said she thinks she may have a solution.

"I think what we need to do as a water board is to start Aug. 26 square one, everybody zero balance, and go forward with our own water book and our own deposit book," she said.

All water bills starting on Aug. 26 will be paid to the water board. Any bills prior to Aug. 25 will be paid to Smith, McAfee explained.

McAfee said the water board, which consists of the town council members, can do nothing about the past bills if they do not have the books.

"It is no longer our responsibility," she said.

In charge of water shut-offs for the town, Richard Fordice told the council that Smith had sent out notices back in April informing residents that if they did not pay their bill, their water would be shut off May 8.

According to Fordice, people who did not pay their bill did not have their water shut off.

"And there are some people in this town," he said "that haven't paid their water bill in a long, long time."

McAfee said that she had seen bills in the January 2006 book that had not been paid all year and have not received any notices.

Fordice argued that notices had been issued and that the reason why the water was not shut off was because the council took the power away from Smith prior to May 8.

"If you're going to take power away from the town clerk to collect money then you better back the town clerk on collecting the past due bills," Fordice said.

McAfee turned and asked Smith to tell the council why she would not give up the books.

Smith responded, "I am responsible for all the records."

Town residents in attendance at last week's meeting offered their opinions on the issue.

"What you guys are doing is hurting every person in this town and it has got to stop," said Davon Davis.

Rodgers responded, "I just wish we could all agree on stuff."

Davis brought up another concern. She informed the council that she has come up to the town hall many times during the posted hours and nobody was there.

"You can't post hours that your going to be here from 8 a.m to noon on Monday and not be here," she said.

McAfee responded, "We have a responsibilty to try to work this out."

By the end of the meeting, council members made no decision on the water bills and ledgers.

In other business, the council:

--Read two ordinances for the third time and approved them by a vote of 3-0.

--Received a letter from Homeland Security about National Incident Management System. The letter outlines how the town should implement the system.

The letter must be signed and returned to Homeland Security. The council has tabled the letter until they could find out more about it.

--Agreed to reimburse the community center for $1,970 for a fire alarm bill.

--Learned about concerns with the storm drains. Several of them are filled with dirt.

--Will be interviewing two people to come and work as the town's water superintendent/operator. The council have received several notices against the current superinten-dent/operator.

His certificatoion has expired.

Due to a scheduling conflict, the regular scheduled town council meeting has been rescheduled for next month. The new meeting date is Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. in the town hall.

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