Henrietta does not move forward on water agreement with Richmond

The Henrietta Board of Aldermen came out of closed session Saturday morning without a signed agreement with Richmond to provide water service.
Richmond currently provides sewer service to the small town and has also been working on an agreement with Richmond to free up funds for infiltration repairs from stormwater.
Richmond City Administrator Rick Childers and Henrietta City Clerk Margie Long have been meeting the last several weeks to work on the agreement.
Before Henrietta can hook onto the system, some upgrades and repairs have to be made. The city is currently working with the Mid-America Regional Council for a grant to perform the work.
In other actions:
• Last month the city hired two new workers with one serving primarily in a maintenance role while the other splits with police work. Since last month, the city has hired an additional police officer for part-time work. George O’Dell, who also does law enforcement work in Orrick, has wasted no time getting to work.
O’Dell sought permission from the board on Saturday to join a mutual aid agreement between other law enforcement agencies in the county. O’Dell also accepted a flashlight on behalf of the city from the Ray County Coalition. The flashlight can sense alcohol particles in the air of a car that has been pulled over.
• U.S. Granules has requested a special water rate for their business. The company says it uses more water than a typical business. Board members did not seem like they were in favor of granting a reduced rate.
• Long reported the city’s capitol improvement account can be used for anything, according to the way the ordinance was written. Currently there is more than $44,000 in the account. Long listed several projects that could be completed with the fund including a new maintenance garage, sidewalks for city hall and upgrades to city parks. The board spent $15,000 of the fund to buy the city a new tractor.
• Long reported that the city’s sewer fund is again in trouble and money will have to be borrowed from the general fund to pay expenses. She said at the end of December the fund only had $8,000.
• The board also decided to move forward with obtaining bids for engineering for the city’s sewer infiltration problem.

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