September 2, 2014

Edgerton considers changes to water leak policy

Mark Taylor
submissions@gardnernews.com

Residents with water leaks may soon get a break from the city of Edgerton.

The council agreed on April 28 to consider an ordinance that would change the way the city charges water customers who sustain high bills due to water leaks.

The new ordinance would assess wholesale rather than retail costs for the lost water.

“That’s only fair,” said Mike Press, interim city administrator.  “We have to recoup the wholesale cost of the water. Certainly it would (also) be something that would be a bit of a break for the resident.”

Water leaks have been a common topic of discussion at Edgerton City Council meetings in recent years.

Residents typically don’t realize they have a leak until their water bill arrives, and they sometimes ask the council to abate the additional cost.

The council has always required full retail payment for the leaked water, but generally grants additional time – up to a year – for payment.

Press said the new policy would require proof of a leak, such as a plumber’s bill.

“I think it’s an issue that would be fair to your community and residents,” Press said, “that if they in fact do have a water leak that they are not charged the retail price of the water that has leaked out.

“It (the water) is obviously not going to be processed in the sanitary sewer system.”
The council will consider the ordinance at a future meeting.

In other business, the council:

Discussed the need for new “monument” signs at the city’s entry points.

“I’ve been thinking we are due for new signs,” Councilman Clay Longanecker said. “Decent size (signs) that you can read from the road.”

Press agreed that new signs would be a cost-effective way to enhance the city.

“A monument or new signs would sure be a nice entry point into the community,” he said. “If you look at some of the things that small communities throughout Kansas have done…Downtown redevelopment, paving stones, lights, amenities that are not terribly expensive but they really spruce up the image of the town.”

• approved a voluntary annexation for the Holtgraver property at 32377 W. 191st Street
near the intermodal site.

The property is contiguous with city limits, and there has been no opposition to the annexation.

• Reviewed new governance policies proposed by Press.

The council is expected to vote on the policies during its next meeting.  Press said he compiled the policies from those of several other cities across the country.

“These are essentially the rules and parameters of how the council governs itself, your ways of working together, your principals and values,” Press said.

The policies include a distinction between council and administrative roles.

“The council will be responsible for excellence in governing; the staff will be responsible for excellence in management,” Press said.

Press said the policies would ensure staff accountability without the council having to be directly involved in day-to-day operations.

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