Bedford considers revamp of city's sewer ordinance
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:00 AM
The Bedford City Commissioner will look to revamp the city's sewer ordinance before pursuing an increase in rates.
Mayor Russell Clifton told the commissioners on Monday that the city continues to lose money in its sewer fund because some residents are not paying their water bills and still use the service.
He said the city also has made too many exceptions and needs to solidify a sewer ordinance that clearly establishes the fees and stop-service guidelines. In some cases, the city has made deals for some behind on payments only to have the residents break the agreements, Clifton said.
"Every month it keeps coming up," he said. "It needs to stop."
While a rate increase is likely, Clifton said he wants to revise the ordinance before discussing any possible increase.
"Before I'm in favor of raising rates, we've got to get an ordinance with some teeth in it," he said.
The city will hold a special meeting 10 a.m. Wednesday to discuss the ordinance changes.
Also at the meeting, the city's deputy clerk Rita Davis reported that all but two residents violating the city's nuisance ordinance have cleaned up their properties.
The city recently sent out a letter to residents in violation of the statute. Some of the properties had accumulations of trash, abandoned vehicles and large brush piles.
The city revised its nuisance ordinance in 2009 to include dilapidated houses. After reading the updates, city attorney Genon Hensley asked if the commissioners would pursue any additional amendments.
Commissioner Harold Greene asked if the current ordinance includes banning parked cars on city sidewalks. Greene said he often sees parked cars on sidewalks and is concerned about possible structural damage to the surface. Hensley said the ordinance does address that issue.
In other business:
The commissioners agreed to host a youth-lunch program this year from June 3-28. Commissioner Todd Pollock, who was absent, asked Davis to present the plan to the board. The lunches will be come pre-packaged from Bedford Elementary School and distributed at the Bedford Community Center and served each week day from noon to 1 p.m.
Davis reported that the city held its cleanup event on May 11 and helped dispose of 20 tires, five couches, tree branches and other large trash items. She added that several residents in violation of the nuisance ordinance utilized the cleanup day.
Bedford City Hall will be closed Friday and Monday in observance of Memorial Day.
The town will hold the second reading of its 2013-2014 budget at its next monthly meeting on June 17 at 10 a.m.