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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Clay City to maintain water operations

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bob Heaton
CLAY CITY -- During the Clay City Town Council recently, the council announced it will not sell Clay City's water system to Indiana American Water, which had previously discussed and researched.

At the beginning of the meeting, the council voted to retain Chris Gambill as town attorney.

A motion was made and passed to retain Guy Dickerson and Rob Freeman as council president and council vice president, respectively.

They also passed to retain all town employees for 2012.

Meanwhile, State Representative Bob Heaton (Indiana District 46) attended the meeting and spoke with the council.

"I'm working right now with Clay City USA program and trying to get some money for some street lights," Heaton said. "It's all about trying to find the money."

He's talked with Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman and Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) about the project.

"If the money is there, I'm going to do all I can to get our fair share for Clay City and other communities," Heaton said.

In other news, Brian Walker, representative from Utility Supply Co., was supposed to attend the meeting, but couldn't due to illness. The council planned to discuss upgrading the water meters and meter-reading systems for Clay City. The new system doesn't require the meter-readers to write any figures down.

"To do this, we're going to need all new meters," Freeman said. "Most of our meters won't work for the new system."

The cost for the entire project would be $60,000-75,000. Each new meter will cost around $125, and the town will need around 400 meters.

The current meters are 12 years old, and meters are supposed to be changed every 10 years.

"Those meters are supposed to be rotated, and unfortunately for a long time we just didn't have the funds," Dickerson said. "We definitely have to get back where we can have meters changed out in the 10-year cycle, because that's regulation."

"We do have money that would pay for the system, but we would owe on the meters," Freeman said. "It may be more of an inconvenience, but we will get it where things will work. I think it's something that we really can't afford to not look into."

Roy Chenoweth, the newly elected council member said, "Looking into it is one thing, but let's make sure we can pay for it. If we can't pay for it, then there's no sense in trying to get it."

The council is hoping Walker will have financing available to help pay for the new system. The council plans to have a special meeting later in the month to be able to meet with Walker. The meeting will be open to the public.

The council also mentioned that meters in the city, that have been recently replaced, would not have to be changed.

"We're in a place where we don't have a choice," Freeman said. "We've got to do something. But we don't want to raise prices on water."

Gambill explained the reason for the past raising of prices.

"We had a significant loss of income, so we had to raise the prices," he said. "Then everyone started using less. We had the same amount of customers, but a 25 percent reduction in use. We basically had a substantial loss of income, so we had to raise our rates to cover our costs. Then people started using less. We had a 25 percent loss in revenue -- not because we lost customers, but because of usage."

During the meeting, the council also discussed the following:

* The council discussed parking problems in different areas of the town. The council plans to pass an ordinance at the special meeting to eliminate parking in certain areas of Clay City,

* Past clerk-treasurer Denetta Hane requested through a letter to be paid during the month of January as she finishes her work. The council decided she will be paid at her same hourly rate as long as she works at the town hall, clocks in and out with a time card and cooperates with the new clerk-treasurer, Sue Booe, and

* The council approved Tyler Silvers as a reserve trainee with the Clay City Police Department to replace Daniel Albright, who recently moved. Silvers will be sworn in at the special meeting.

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