The Clay City Town Council discussed the town's water issue during the monthly meeting Tuesday.
The town has been having problems with dirty water for years, but the council said it hasn't had the money to fix it and doesn't understand why the town has this problem.
The council hired a company, Reynolds, to change water filters for the town.
"We don't have any more money," Town Council President Guy Dickerson said. "That's all the money we got, and if that don't fix it, we're done. I'm optimistic ... I think it's going to fix it."
"The water's been bad for 16 years, but it hasn't been as bad as it has this last year. This is diarrhea water that we have now," a local resident said. "Why didn't we start working on it 16 years ago?"
"If we worked on it every time it got colored, we'd be working on it continually," Dickerson said. "I'm going to be truthful with you. If I had any idea what was wrong with the water, I'd fix it."
Town Attorney Chris Gambill told those attending the meeting about the company Clay City will use.
"Reynolds is one of the largest contractors in the state on public works projects," he said. "They are certainly a reputable company. They have done a tremendous number of projects. I would say they are as reputable a public works construction company as I know of in the state ... from my experience."
A Clay City resident wanted to know what would happen if the new filters didn't fix the problem.
"The only way we can work on water is to have money," Dickerson explained. "Now how many options do we have to raise money? We can't get grants. Every one we've applied for we've been turned down because we don't have enough money to put up front to influence them to get a grant. We had $15,000 to put up. Somebody put up $50,000. Hey, they get the grant. We raise water, and that's the only chance we've got for revenue."
Dickerson said the estimated cost for the new filtration system is $30,000.
"Well, I don't mind paying it if I have good water," the resident said. "But I don't have good water. Last month our bill was $170, and I couldn't wash white clothes that whole month."
Gambill explained that other companies and people have looked at the city's system and told them the problem is the filtration system.
"I'm assuming it will have some affect, even if it's not the primary source for the problem," Gambill said. "If that is the source and we put in this new filtration system, that should solve this problem."
Reynolds will be in Clay City Monday, April 9, to put in the new filters. The council said by the end of that week, the city should see a difference in the water.
The council also discussed looking again into selling the utility to Indiana American Water if Reynolds can't solve the problem.
Meanwhile, owner of the A&W Daryl Andrews asked the council for permission to place signs for his restaurant in town on public sidewalks.
He mentioned other businesses were placing signs in areas around town, and he wanted to know the town's rules on advertising signs.
"I'm not saying they shouldn't have a sign; I just want one too," Andrews said. "And I want the blessing of the board to do so."
The council discussed whether to permit or ban temporary advertising signs on public property in Clay City.
"Before I invest in the kind of money it takes to build a nice, quality sign ... I'd at least like some guidance from the town board and know whether it will be permitted," Andrews said. "I would just like to take advantage of the same intersections that every one else is as well. I would just like to have the same privileges every one else has."
The council decided to permit the signs. They said they would like to write an ordinance to put limits on the sizes of the signs.
"We can always decide to ban all of them if it gets out of hand," Dickerson said.
In other Clay City news:
* After a formal complaint was made on Clay City Police Chief Terry Skaggs, the council agreed a letter of reprimand would go into his personnel file,
* Council members signed an agreement with Node 1 Internet Services for the location of wireless equipment.
The company asked to place equipment on the Clay City water tower to provide high-speed wireless Internet service. Node 1 would give the town of Clay City 10 percent of the revenue from Internet users and free use of the Internet for the town facilities.