Williamsport Town Council1003

Photo by Susan G. Wright

Jim Lanham, board president Mike Hutchison, Traci Latoz and town attorney Jud Barce listen as a high water bill problem is discussed during the Oct. 3 Williamsport Town Council meeting.

Utilities lead the discussion topics at Williamsport Town Council meeting Oct. 3.

Williamsport Town Board President Mike Hutchison spoke about two incidences where leaks in the main outside of residences created high water bills for a couple residents.

As discussion evolved, Hutchison asked town attorney Jud Barce how the payments should be handled.

Barce explained that the water ordinance will need to be revised to address situations where there is a leak outside of the home. There will need to be a public hearing of this revised text, before it’s passed.

There is also a situation that the council is aware of that includes a duplex with only one water meter, and one tenant is paying the majority of the bill. Council member Traci Latoz explained that she is disgusted how the one family is being taken advantage of because they can’t afford to move at this time, the landlord has been reluctant to make any changes to the meter. The ordinance that Barce is going to draft will help to address the concerns of that resident, too.

Additionally, Mark Hutson had a costly report to deliver to the town, as two pumps at the lift station were pulled as a result of burned out motors. As the switch out of one motor was completed, a blanket and a mop head were pulled out of the debris. A new pump costs about $12,000 and takes about eight weeks for delivery. Right now the Main Street Lift Station is functioning on one pump. Once the new pump arrives, then Hutson plans to use the two broken pumps to create a back up pump.

Additionally, the digester blew a couple motors at the sewage treatment plant, but they are expecting three more blowers as part of a grant distribution through the Indiana Municipal Power Association, a total of 35 loads of sludge were trucked away for the installation of the spare blowers could be installed. A rough total was more than $50,000 in repairs, all happening in a couple hours of each other.

Water and street superintendent Kevin Strickler shared that the water tower inspection went smoothly and that it’s not too soon to prepare for taking bids on painting the water tower interior and exterior. Other business included replacing a couple broken utility poles and a preemptive replacement of a pole that has been attacked by woodpeckers.

Strickler also shared that he’s contacted HWC Swimming Pool to develop a master plan for the city pool. “The master plan could be expensive, but it’s necessary because the pool is at the end of it’s cycle,” he added.

One of Strickler’s employees, Jeff Abolt, is retiring after 43 years of experience with the town. The plan is tow hire a couple people to the water/street department to expand the work force from two people to four people.

The candidates will be reviewed at the next month’s meeting, after salary and experience requirements are discussed.

Park board member Ryan White was on hand to share that one new park board member has been found so far. Stephanie Knosp will be taking one of the two vacancies currently needing to be filled for the Williamsport Park board. One more person is needed to complete it. Allie Lockwood had to step down from serving on the board as her family has moved out of the area.

Finally, Lisa Bagley of the American Senior Healthcare Williamsport asked permission for a couple road barriers for the streets flowing into the loop around the city park and fairgrounds area Oct. 26 to host an Alzheimer Walk. With support from the town board, Strickler said he’d put the barriers against a couple poles that can be adjusted easily.