CARROLLTON – The board of aldermen passed a resolution Monday night to address future requests for water bill adjustments due to accidental water usage by a customer due to a water leak.
Looking at past precedent and a recent Mississippi Attorney General’s opinion, the board voted to hold customers accountable for the water usage fees, although the town would allow a customer up to four months to pay the bill without incurring late fees.
The measure came after a customer received a more than $500 water bill due to a water leak on the customer’s side of the water meter. The customer said she did not notice the leak due to heavy rains in recent weeks.
In the past, the board has not reduced the amount of a customer’s bill but given the customer an extended due date to pay the fee. During an ice storm several years ago, three of the five aldermen were plagued with ruptured pipes and water leaks, and they were held responsible for paying the incurred water fees. According to the aldermen those bills ranged from $300 to more than $1,000.
Alderman Allen Lee made the motion for the resolution, stating that due to past precedent as well as the AG’s opinion, the board’s action should be included in the town’s minutes as well as the water file to ensure the same policy is followed in the future.
In other town news:
• The board approved the attendance of Mayor Pam Lee at the Mississippi Municipal League conference in January.
• Office hours at town hall are changing to 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
• Lee informed the board that Cable One is raising its rates again. The town’s franchise agreement with the cable provider will expire in 2020, and Lee said she has found an expert to help her negotiate a better contract for the town at that time.
• Lee informed the board that Water Superintendent Galen Shumaker requested to replace a fire hydrant on County Road 316 that was equipped with a larger blow-off valve. According to Lee, on Christmas Day, Shumaker and his crew replaced a two-inch pipe on a four-inch water line that ruptured. He wants to replace the current fire hydrant with one more appropriate for the size line. The board authorized his request.
• Lee informed the board that Kim Goss with Willis Engineering wants to meet with her about grant opportunities for 2019 which could include repairs or replacement to sidewalks, street, water lines, a town sewer, revitalization, and so on. Currently, thanks to grants and legislative funding, the town has been awarded funds to repair a ditch on Lexington Street, ditches on Peavy Street, ditches on Hafner Street, and repairs to Washington Street and Lexington Street.
• A meet-and-greet reception has been scheduled for the newly-hired town clerk, Sandy Williams, on February 8 from 3:30 until 5:30 p.m. at Carrollton Town Hall. Williams will replace longtime clerk, Linda McGregor, who will retire this year. A retirement reception for McGregor will be held on Sunday, February 24 from 3 to 4 p.m. at Carrollton Town Hall.