Meter rules anger resident

Posted 10/17/18

The new smart water meters installed by the city of Madisonville have one resident boiling mad.

Harvey Johnson told commissioners at the Oct. 9 meeting that being charged $500 if a resident …

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Meter rules anger resident

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The new smart water meters installed by the city of Madisonville have one resident boiling mad.

Harvey Johnson told commissioners at the Oct. 9 meeting that being charged $500 if a resident turns off the meter was not right.

“My dad built that house, and the only place to cut the water off was at the meter,” he said. “You’re punishing the wrong people.”

Johnson said the people damaging meters should be penalized.

“I called a plumber and he said it would cost me $450 to put in a cutoff,” he said. “I can afford it, but there’s a whole of people in this town that can’t.”

Johnson said that it was impractical to have someone on call to shut off meters, and after a recent plumbing issue, had he waited for someone from the city to show up and turn off the water, his house would have flooded.

Mayor Bill Parten said the city will discuss the matter and give Johnson an answer to his concerns.

In a separate matter, the city approved adding Nationwide Retirement Solutions as a separate and additional retirement option for its employees.

The 457(b) plan, according to the IRS, allows certain state and local governments, as well as tax-exempt non-governmental agencies, allow employees of sponsoring organizations to defer income taxation on retirement savings into future years, similar to a 401(k).

City Manager Camilla Viator said employees who want to contribute more toward a retirement plan can opt into this, as the city’s current plan does not allow employees to designate the amount that can be set aside for retirement.

“This is how we do it, by offering a secondary plan, and it does not cost the city anything,” she said.

The resolution was approved 4-0, as Council Member Chris McGilbra was absent.

In other business, the city:

•approved a resolution allowing the financing of a new Ford Explorer for the Madisonville Police Department K9 unit;

•approved a new three-year contract with City Manager Camilla Viator at the same terms as the last one. She is paid a base salary of $84,707.56 and receives allowances and benefits of $30,282.14;

•approved an ordinance amending the city’s rules for use of Lake Madison, particularly banning jet skis from being used on the lake;

•approved an ordinance amending the garage sale ordinance to allow certain off-premises signs; and

•approved a refund of property taxes paid to a wrong account on property owned by J.B. Burns Sr. in the amount of $1,808.12.

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