Water deposit would be #036;50 less

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 4, 2008

With just a small revision, the new water regulations for the city of Ironton are going to city council to be voted on.

The only change in the document is lowering a new connection deposit from $250 to $200.

The council’s public utilities committee met on Monday to discuss the regulations.

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“They wanted to change the deposit fee back to $200,” said Mark White, the head of the city’s water department. The meeting was open to the public and a couple of landlords were present. “Their concerns were that some, like new families just starting out, wouldn’t be able to able to afford the deposit so we dropped it back to $200.”

The regulations will be voted on by the council at its next regular meeting on June 12.

“If it passes, we’ll get started right away on running the new regs,” White said.

One of the changes in the regulations is that people will have to show identification to get their water bill set up and a list will be kept of delinquent accounts so that a person can’t keep setting up accounts and then skipping the bill and setting up a new account at a different house or setting up a new account at the same house with a different person’s information.

White said that with the new regulations, a landlord could give them a list of people who live in a rental property.

“That way if the renter goes delinquent on the bill, somebody else comes into set up an account, we can refuse service to that family until the bill is paid,” White said. “We are going to ask for some form of identification with a picture on it.”

He said he thinks in the long run the new regulations will help Ironton.

“It is going to take awhile before we really see a change,” White said. “It is hard changing people’s minds and attitudes. Once we get that changed and people see that we are looking out for their well being, it is going to help.”

White said any money that goes into the water department, goes back into the water department. He said they are looking at a number of upgrades to the system, including extending lines, replacing old water lines, new meters that can be read by a computer instead of by a person, a water tank project and updated billing software in the billing department.

“We are looking at all these criteria that need to be done in the near future, so we are taking a step toward that future,” White said.

The last time the water regulations were revised was in 2000.

“The hardest part of this whole document is making it work,” White said. “It will be a slow process.”