2009-01-22 / Front Page

Town splits unpaid water bills 50 - 50 with four customers

By Sam Bari

Town Administrator Bruce Keiser announced at Tuesday's Town Council meeting that he made a decision to split an unpaid $2,796 water bill 50-50 with the customer. The council approved the decision with a 4 to 0 vote.

Tammy and Stephen Fasano of 37 Standish Rd. were hooked up to town water service, but the charges for their monthly water usage were inadvertently omitted from the sewer and water bills from Sept. 2002 to July 2008.

The town admits fault for not sending the bills. However, according to the town ordinance, the customer is still responsible for the unpaid charges.

The matter was an agenda item at a previous town council meeting and the council asked Keiser to "work something out" because the customer was not aware that they were not being charged.

Keiser said that he offered to split the bill 50-50 with a monthly payment plan upon town council approval. The Fasanos agreed to the arrangement.

"We found four other accounts that were not billed," Keiser said. "One of the bills for $1,200 was paid. That customer will get a 50 percent refund. The others will be sent letters about their billing status and will be offered the 50-50 arrangement," Keiser added.

He said the accounting department is looking into the software that issues the bills to determine if anything can be done to keep these incidents from re-occurring.

In other water and sewer business, Department of Public Works Director Steve Goslee reported that:

• The reservoir water color increased significantly this month. This is a common occurrence this time of year when a layer of ice and snow cover the reservoir and prevent sunlight from penetrating the water column.

• The treatment plant operated at 96 percent efficiency this month for turbidity removal.

• The new treatment plant building has been made weather tight and exterior railings have been installed.

• The electricians are pulling wire for motorized valves and equipment power supply, chemical feed pumps and filter control circuits.

• The standby generator has been load tested and is now on line.

• The plumbing contractor expects to fire the heating system this week.

• Installation of intake and exhaust duct and fans is ongoing.

• The interior filter piping is about 60 percent complete.

• The monthly average daily flow at the treatment plant for December was 1,080,000 gallons per day. The peak daily flow was 2.32 million gallons. The permitted flow for the monthly average is 730,000 gallons per day.

• The contractor has completed the original scope of work for the rehabilitation project. The last pay requisition is being processed.

Goslee also reported a water main break on Grinnell Street that was repaired immediately. During the break, service to a seasonal house was inadvertently turned on. This resulted in water running into a crawl space for about 30 days before the owner came back to check the house. The incident was reported to the town insurance carrier so a claim could be processed.

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