January 13, 2011

WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE - City Forgives Utility Debt Caused by Vandals

There was no bridge present for the water to go under, but there likely could have been a need for one after an estimated 90,000 gallons of water ran freely from a broken water spigot at a Mety Street residence last month.

Police Chief Bill Holland informed the city council at the January 6th meeting of an apparent case of vandalism at the property that led to the water loss that was valued at approximately $700.

Holland sated that the police department had previously received complaints from the property owner that someone was turning the water on without permission. After the property owner used a zip-tie to secure the spigot handle, a vandal apparently kicked the mechanism, breaking the waterline in the process, resulting in the water break.

Upon hearing Chief Holland's report, noting the prior complaints, the council agreed the property owner appeared to be a victim of a crime. The city will access a regular monthly water bill, using the average consumption at the property, and will not access the cost of the lost water.

Typically property owners are held responsible for water usage caused by line breaks or other mishaps on private property. No sewer charges are assessed but the water usage is metered and required to be paid.

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