April 10, 2013 —
“We feel like we paid for a service that we didn’t get,” added Callihan.
Mayor Kenny Fankell then stated, “Neither I nor the Council feel like this is something that the city and its taxpayers should have to pay for.”
The E.L. Robinson contingent, while expressing that they didn’t feel they were solely to blame for the situation, agreed at that point to consult with the contractor to see if they would be willing to help share some of the cost.
It was agreed that the firm would return at the next regular City Council meeting with a firm idea of what costs it would be able to bear and what funds, if any, the city would have to contribute to fixing the errors in the filtration system.
The Council then agreed on two new changes to the city’s electric rate ordinance.
First, the provision that automatically switches customers to demand billing if they use more than 8,000 kilowatts in a single month will be removed from the ordinance entirely.
Second, the meter testing policy requiring a $50 deposit for customers who wish to dispute their bills will be reinstated as a measure to prevent abuse of the system.
“Every time we change out a meter because someone complains about their bill, the city incurs a cost. We lose money just shipping it off for testing,” said Callihan.
“If something is truly wrong with the meter, we realize that’s our responsibility to fix. But if there isn’t, then we need a way to help offset our losses.”
The Mayor and Council were quick to point out that this policy only applies to customers wishing to dispute charges on their bills. Meters that are obviously malfunctioning will still be replaced by the city as needed.
The first reading of the proposed changes to the electric rate ordinance will take place at the next regular City Council meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16 at the Olive Hill Senior Community Center.
Joe Lewis can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 286-4201.