By JUDY SHERIDAN
A water and sewer customer threatened to sue the city for overcharging her during the Aledo City Council meeting Thursday.
Alice Bush, who lives in Villages of Aledo, said she has discussed her high utility bills with the city water department and asked them to replace her water meter for the past several years.
“They would come out, reread my meter and tell me there were no leaks,” she said, “that it must be a leak on my part, which was not true.”
Bush said a meter reading a couple months ago showed she had used 1,710 gallons of water in 24 hours, and she insisted city workers replace the meter.
“After they replaced the meter, I used 220 gallons in five days, which is 44 gallons in 24 hours,” she said. “Last month I used 840 gallons and this month I have used — from 11/15 to 12/16 — 1,060 gallons. So, once again, they were not right about the meter.”
Bush said the water department tested the old meter and found it to be incorrect, which she already knew.
“They can put it on their house if they want to; I have been robbed long enough,” she said. “This has put a physical and mental stress on me.”
Bush told the council she has paid 87.4 percent more for her water than she should have. She is asking the city for a 50 percent refund on her bills from 2009-13 for all months where she was billed for more than 2,000 gallons.
“I have eight years here,” she said, “but I will go back five.”
Mayor Kit Marshall and council members asked about Bush’s outdoor watering practices, how meters are checked, how leak tests are conducted and whether both the old and new meters could have been correct.
Further discussion was shut down by the city attorney, who reminded the council that state law limits the dialogue to fact and policy questions when issues are not listed on the agenda.
Public Works Director Gordon Smith said a new meter was installed at Bush’s residence in 2007, when all meters were replaced citywide. He said he looked for leaks several times in the last four months and sent the meter off to be checked, discovering it had a broken swing arm, but that other parts were working properly.
Smith said Bush had been offered a “possible adjustment” of $327 for the past four months because of the swing arm.
He added that he had never had a broken meter give sporadic readings.
“When a meter fails, most meters will either walk up or the counter doesn’t work,” he said.
Initially, Bush told the council she had an attorney but preferred not to incur the expense. Later, she took a harder line.
“If we don’t go back five years at 50 percent, I will have somebody in here, and we’ll go back eight years for whatever amount is over what it is this year,” she said.
Marshall said the issue would be on the agenda in January for discussion and action.
In other business the council approved a law enforcement contract with Parker County for two sheriff’s office deputies, postponed action on an ordinance that would require a masonry screening wall at least 8 feet high along the railroad track and asked Aledo Broadband to return in March with their proposal to lease antenna space on the water tank.
As discussed during the budget process, the council approved an agreement with Parker County for two sheriff’s deputies this year instead of one.
The original agreement commits the city to $125,314 for patrol services between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014. The amount will be prorated, however, because the second deputy’s start date, contingent on council approval, was delayed at the county level, City Administrator Ken Pfeifer said.
By JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
Water park burglar sought
Weatherford and Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month.
Commissioner at odds with school district's demand for land
Aledo ISD superintendent Derek Citty is moving forward with plans backed by the school board in May — plans to secure two school sites in the Morningstar subdivision, slated for the corner of Old Weatherford Road and FM Road 3225 in the City of Fort Worth’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
An unforgettable state championship
Corey Kiser and Riley Sartain, members of Aledo High School’s state champion softball team, honored by trustees last week, are to blame for the 10-3 tattoo on the finger of their coach, Jeff Lemons.
Firefighter arrested for child sexual assault
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested July 21, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
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Stephen Watson, interim chief of Emergency Services District No. 1, briefed the Aledo City Council on improvements to the city’s fire protection — including the purchase of a site for a new fire station — in Thursday night’s Aledo City Council session.
Aledo ISD trustees affirm hiring policy
The Aledo ISD School Board affirmed a policy delegating the hiring of most school personnel to the administration by a 4-1 margin last week, with trustees Jay Stringer, David Tillman, Hoyt Harris and Steve Bartley voting in favor and trustee Bobby Rigues arguing that the board should retain the responsibility.
Aledo coffee shop helps support the troops
HUDSON OAKS — Wild West Splash Kingdom was the host of military members and military supporters the night of Saturday, July 19, during ‘Salute the Troops,’ sponsored by Holy Grounds Coffee and Gifts in Aledo and Ducerus College Planning.
Calendar of events
Holy Grounds Coffee & Gifts, at 108 Jearl Street, is hosting a series of outdoor movies in their parking lot at 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 23.
Admission is free and feature drinks are half price during the films. “The Amazing Spiderman” is Aug. 2, followed by “Tangled” on Aug. 9, “The Lego Movie” on Aug. 16 and “The Avengers” on Aug. 23.
For more information, call 817-440-7770.
A Purple Heart County
County Judge Mark Riley and Parker County commissioners proclaimed Parker County to be a “Purple Heart County” Monday, honoring local veterans and their families in a special ceremony held in the second floor courtroom of the historic courthouse.
Suspicious house fire under investigation
The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.
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