(Shenandoah) – Changes to disconnection fees, curb stop regulations and tapping fees are among those set for Shenandoah’s water ordinances.
By unanimous vote Tuesday evening, the Shenandoah City Council approved the first reading of the proposed changes after no one spoke at a public hearing. Council members then waived the second and third meetings, and officially adopted the changes. City Water Superintendent Tim Martin says one amendment sets a straight disconnect fee of $50.
“We had $25 and $25, and that became a nightmare in the billing department,” said Martin. “So, we went a straight $50. Also, if you make the list, we will continue to go out and physically shut people off with a key. But if you make the list, we’ll charge $50 plus tax.”
Another amendment addresses curb stops. Currently, the city bears the expense of tackling problems with curb stops.
“They’re still live,” he said. “So, let’s say a house is torn down, and they cut the service line right before the shutoff, and they just simply shut them off. Well, over the years, since I’ve worked here, we’ve run into many problems where they get hit by contractors that don’t know that they’re there. Well, that’s private.”
Now, the current homeowner is responsible for issues with abandoned curb stops.
“It’s worded that any of these abandoned curb stops become problematic,” said Martin, “the current homeowner—whether unknown or known, if they know about it—will be responsible for getting it fixed. Now, if becomes an emergency, we would handle it, and then bill accordingly.”
Martin says another change sets tapping fees.
“Let’s say for three-quarter to one-inch corporation stops, we’ll charge $250 plus the parts,” he said. “If the corporation stops get to be one inch or higher, then we charge more for the parts, because it gets to be more of an expense. If we didn’t add that extra feet, the water department would start losing money. So, we don’t normally add too much more over the costs of what we’re buying them for. We’re not trying to make money here, we just want to cover our shipping costs, and all that.”
In other business Tuesday night, the council approved a public hearing for September 24th at 6 p.m. for the sale of city-owned property between 1886 and 1890 U.S. Highway 59, and the Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association’s request for street closures for this Saturday’s Wabash Trace Marathon, Half Marathon and Marathon Relay, and for Shenfest on September 28th. Council members also approved the salary for new police clerk Amy Jones at $15.05 per hour, and the reappointment of Allan Jordan to the city’s tree board.