Orrick city council addresses water leak issues with residents

With many budget concerns mounting, the Orrick City Council will hold a special meeting this week to discuss some of those issues. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday Jan. 22 at the Lion’s Club.
One discussion at the city’s regular meeting on Jan. 8 was travel expenses.
The question was discussed during Police Chief Troy Sims’ report. Sims wanted to know when it was more financially feasible to have city employees who were attending seminars, conventions or other functions to stay overnight rather than drive back and forth each day. It was determined that each case would be decided individually according to the distance, hotel accommodations and other factors.
Water leaks are also a mounting concern.
Public Works director Ed Sherwood said the city needs to have lockable lids for the water meters. It was also discussed that the wording for the ordinance of water meters needs to be changed. There was a situation where the school had a leak, and due to the wording of the ordinance, the school will be required to hire a private contractor to take care of the repairs needed, as the City of Orrick cannot legally do the work. If they did, they would technically be engaged as a private contractor.
Two other residents also had water leak concerns.
First to speak was Deanna Hufford. On Dec. 22, Hufford had a frozen pipe which resulted in a water leak. She requested that the water leak cost be priced at the “at cost to the city of Orrick” price. This cost would be that which the city of Orrick pays the city of Richmond for their city water. The council members, along with Public Works director Ed Sherwood, told Hufford there would be no way to determine the amount of water that went through the meter and to her particular line. She said she was not requesting a payment plan of any kind, she was just wondering if she could pay for the water that came as a result of the leak “at cost”. The council denied the request.
Next to address the council was Kenneth Jeffries, who owns rental properties, a duplex and a four-plex, at 100 and 103 Sibley Road. Two water leaks which resulted in a $900 bill to get the problem corrected. He was requesting an installment plan in order to pay for the water bills.
The council voted to give him credit on the sewer bill in the duplex and allowed him to pay his current water bill in three monthly installments.
In other actions:
•Bill Hall, City Collector, discussed the fact that he was having some difficulty getting some businesses to buy two separate licenses as needed. Attorney Kevin Baldwin advised Hall that the final decision was his, but if the businesses owned by the individual were separate businesses at two separate locations, they would need to have two licenses. He also stated that if there were two separate businesses under one roof, they would need to have two separate licenses. If the owners refused to purchase the needed license, they could legally be shut down.
•Police Chief Sims reported about the Ray County Task Force in which the Orrick, Lawson, and Richmond police departments will be working together in conjunction with MoDOT in setting up sobriety checkpoints at each of the cities on three separate occasions.
•Jeanette Hensley, City Clerk, gave a report to the council on the stimulus packets to be given to the cities. This money would go toward transportation, public works, and public facility renovations.
The council then voted to go into closed session.
Those attending were: Council members Steve Tietsort, Jim Eubank, Zoe Davis, and Christie McGlothlin as well as Mayor Shirley Taylor, City Clerk Jeanette Hensley, Police Chief Troy Sims,, Public Works Director Ed Sherwood, City Collector Bill Hall, and City Attorney Kevin Baldwin.

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