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City Council discusses water bill prodecure

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 16th, 2013

AMBOY The Amboy City Council met on Monday, July 15, 2013, with Alderman Daryl Stuckemeyer absent.

Under committee reports, Alderman Dewey reported that the microphone system for use at the community building has arrived but has not yet been installed. Alderman Shaw advised that the Depot Commission has decided to proceed with the replacement of 10 windows in the museum at a cost of $5,000. The water/sewer department report indicated that the replacement of manholes on Jones Avenue is on schedule.

During concerns from the audience, it was questioned why this part of the meeting was moved to after the committee reports from its previous location at the end of the meeting. This was done so that anything not on the agenda could be brought up and addressed. Anytime that someone in the audience has a question about what is being discussed, during unfinished business or new business, they may ask to be recognized by the council at that time so any questions may be clarified before the end of the meeting or the council has taken any final vote. The council approved the ordinance regarding meeting procedures, moving Concerns from the Audience to the middle of the agenda, Amboy City Code, Chapter 2, Article II, Section 2-72.

During this time, Hank Gerdes, on behalf of the Depot Days Car Show Committee, requested help to park cars for Depot Days. It would be between 6 and 11 a.m. Anyone interested should contact him or Garth Dallam.

Under unfinished business, Mayor Nauman advised that he and the council have looked at the location needing new sidewalks downtown. It would be from The Amboy News west in front of the Amboy Family Restaurant and adjacent buildings. It is proposed that the work would start with approximately one-third of the project, with the whole thing expected to be done by Depot Days. Bids will be obtained for the railings needed along the project.

Alderman Hoy brought up the matter of how the water billing is being done. She and city clerk Melissa Eisenberg went through each water meter billing checking for irregularities. Apparently if no water has been used, no bill was sent out. This eliminated both minimum charges and the $14 debt relief charge and has been the practice for some time. According to city ordinance, a bill should be sent unless the water has actually been shut off by the city.

Discussion of the matter ensued from both council and members of the audience. It was felt by some that the unbilled amounts should be back billed to the customers not receiving bills, while others felt that the city should just go forward from this point. It was brought up that if some had to pay that amount, so should everyone. Failure of the city to send bills should not release customers from responsibility of the charge.

There are 1,010 meters in Amboy with 103 bills in question. The council is reviewing the billing procedure and the city is going to start billing everyone that has water turned on in the city per the current ordinance. If water has been shut off by the city, no bill water will be sent since service is disconnected. The matter of back billing has not been decided at this point, since the time frame for unbilled amounts has not been determined.

For the complete article see the 07-17-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-17-2013 paper.

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