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Meters may be shorting Holts Summit sewer collections

— The Board of Aldermen learned Monday night the city might be losing 10 percent or more of sewer tax revenue because of faulty meters used by Callaway County Water District No. 1.

Alderwoman Pamela Murray said she learned about the faulty meters when she attended a recent meeting of the board of directors of Water District No. 1.

“It would be reasonable to presume that the city is losing an equivalent amount of revenue since our sewer rates are based on water use,” Murray said.

She noted that the water district provides all water service in the city of Holts Summit, plus a much wider area of Callaway County.

Murray said numerous tests have clearly identified that many of the meters are faulty but the meter company is not making a serious effort to resolve the problem. She suggested Holts Summit City Attorney Kent Brown contact the water district and work with their representatives to help resolve the issue.

“The city of Holts Summit has a vested interest in this issue as well since our city sewer service revenue is directly tied to these meters,” Murray said.

The board directed Brown to check into the matter.

In other action, Lillian Kinard, municipal sales representative for Allied Waste Co., told the board that a 3-percent increase in the cost of providing garbage service in Holts Summit would go into effect next month. She said the rate increase is automatic and the garbage contract renews automatically with that increase every year. She said the city must give the company three months notice if it wants to renegotiate the contract.

Kinard said the company has 1,042 customers who use garbage containers provided by Allied Waste and 107 residential customers provide their own containers. The new rates going into effect next month are $12.70 a month for customers using company-provided containers and $10.02 a month for customers using their own containers.

Kinard said Allied Waste would like eventually to require all customers to use its containers because automated equipment can be used to load them but containers provided by individuals must be loaded by hand by the garbage truck drivers.

The board named City Administrator Brian Crane as the city’s representative to CAMPO. Mayor Lucas Fitzpatrick said he also would appoint an alternate later to serve whenever Crane was unable to attend a CAMPO meeting.

The Police Department reported it has decided against constructing a new maintenance building. The board then shifted funds appropriated for that to purchase of three more cameras that can be installed in Holts Summit police cars as well as 25 new badges for the department.

The board also authorized the payment of $265 to the Missouri Municipal League to oppose a 40 percent rate increase sought by Ameren Missouri to provide street light service in Holts Summit and other cities throughout its service area.

The money from each city will be used by the Municipal League to oppose Ameren Missouri’s proposed rate hike for street light service before the Missouri Public Service Commission.

In other action the aldermen:

•Approved an ordinance making it a city crime to fail to register a motor vehicle with the state of Missouri. The intent of this ordinance is to allow collection of a city fine instead of police taking the case to a state court.

•Authorized the city administrator to apply and accept funds for a city recycling program.

•Approved an ordinance renewing life and dental insurance benefits for city employees.

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