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
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
The Aledo City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 24, in the Aledo Community Center, 104 Robinson Court, Aledo.
Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
Willow Park tackles 11-street project
The Willow Park City Council last week picked a list of 11 streets they’d like repaired as part of the city’s next road repair project, a significant portion of the 17-road, $850,000 list of needed repairs.
Teens arrested for throwing rocks on interstate
Two 14-year-old boys are facing charges after reportedly throwing rocks at passing vehicles on Interstate 20 Tuesday afternoon, damaging trucks and injuring a woman.
Parker County Calendar of Events
Painting with a Twist/Painting with a Purpose
• Looking for a fun night out? The Parker Paws Painting with a Purpose fundraiser will be held from 7-9 p.m.
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