Town tweaks protocol for sewer bill deductions


FERDINAND — Customers requesting an adjustment on their sewer bill for an extraordinary reason, like a leak or a broken yard hydrant, will have to fill out a written request that will be considered by the town.

The Ferdinand Town Council approved the change at its Tuesday meeting.

In the past, people could call in their request for a deduction, Wastewater Manager Roger Schaefer said.

“We’ve gotten people calling wanting a deduction in their bill because of a leak, but then they don’t fix the leak,” he said. He doesn’t want to keep giving the customer a deduction if the customer isn’t going to fix the problem, especially since the utility still has to treat the water.

The new ordinance lists some scenarios for extraordinary water uses, some of which are filling up a pool, watering a lawn, or pressure washing a house, porch, driveway or sidewalk. Customers can get a one-time deduction in their wastewater cost if it is determined by the wastewater manager or a deduct meter box that an excessive amount of water was used.

Also, deduct meter boxes, which can track extra water used for something like filling a pool, will no longer be loaned out; the customer must purchase one.

The new ordinance goes into effect immediately. Schaefer said he has no problem granting a deduction, so long as it is not going to be a request made every month.

“If they have a legitimate reason,” he said, “I have no problem with it.”

The council also:

• Agreed to create a request for proposals to upgrade two town water tanks. The RFP document will be reviewed at the council’s May 21 meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 2065 Main St.

• Approved changing water rate charges to $5.67 per 1,000 gallons of water to be up to date with St. Henry Water’s charges. The new charges will go into effect with the next utility billing.

• Opened bids for electrical component parts like regulators, reclosers and switches. Those bids will be reviewed and suggestions for approval will be discussed at the council’s May 21 meeting.

• Appropriated $80,000 from the town’s 2018 budget into its 2019 budget; the money will be used for the trail project at Old Town Lake.

• Consented to adding six reserve officers to the police department. The council will consider appointing the six applicants at its May 21 meeting.

• Approved giving employees the option of accumulating comp time if they work overtime. An employee can collect up to 36 hours of comp time in a year, and if the time isn’t used by the end of the year, the employee will be paid for the hours.

• Agreed to install curbing on the west side of Pine Drive near the Veterans Memorial site. Town workers will prep the site, and Schroering Construction will install the curbing.

• Set a special meeting to open bids for road projects. The meeting will be at 10 a.m. May 8 at Town Hall.

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