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Troy aldermen continues to debate landlord/tenant water bill responsibilities

Posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 8:12 am

In addition to the department head meetings, the Troy Board of Aldermen listened to continued discussion on the lift station presently owned and servicing the Sacred Heart Parish. They also listened to other visitors mainly on landlord/tenant responsibility delinquent water bills.

Jim Ditter, member of the Troy Masonic Lodge 34, relayed plans to hold a 5KRun/Walk on the three roundabouts over Highway 61 before the roadway opens to the public.  A target date of October 19, 2013, was discussed. Ditter is planning the event in cooperation with Missouri Department of Transportation and Troy Area Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from entry fees will be given to community charitable organizations and proposed a $500 scholarship to an area student. The event has a website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Ted Bueneman requested a water tap on line located across the road from his building at Park Hills subdivision entrance on South Main Street. Bueneman agreed to bear the cost of boring underneath the road, pay double the water rates for outside city limit access and comply with the city’s utility ordinance. His request was approved based upon a contingency.

Brooke Skaggs requested removal of “no parking between signs” recently placed near  a bus stop.  Ms. Skaggs would park there for only a few minutes while transporting a child to bus stop and ultimately received ticket.  Chief Taylor viewed the location and said “no parking” signs should be placed on the north side of the street (same side as fire hydrants) instead of “no parking between signs” that were used.

Alderman Eversmeyer would like the report of Troy Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the and the revenue and expense report be reduced to conserve paper and cut costs. Motions on both requests passed after discussion.

Mayor Mark Cross read Bill No. 1185—Ordinance 117. This is an ordinance authorizing Cross to Enter into an Agreement with  MoDOT, Lincoln County R-III School District and the City  to share costs for a pedestrian bridge on the Old Cap Au Gris Overpass.This was approved 5-1.

Mayor Cross read a proposed ordinance authorizing him  to  discuss a agreement HR Green and the City for professional services for MS4 Compliance  This was approved.

Attorney Granneman met with some members of the Park Board on proposed park ordinance changes.  A draft of the park ordinance will be prepared for next month’s meeting and copies made available for people to review and consideration given for revisions.  A suggestion was made to change park hours in the morning from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m. for walkers/joggers’ lawful presence in using pathways in early morning.  Chief Taylor asked about noise ordinance conflict if open at 6 a.m. and possibly restricting the early open to only walkers/joggers.  Attorney Granneman will revise and send to Chief Taylor for review.

Alderman Detert discussed utility bill rate structure of winter averaging versus paying for what you use as a way to curb over-use of water especially in drought conditions.

Alderman Dennis Detert discussed the need to make a decision on the Sacred Heart Church—Lift Station/grinder pump request.  Public Works Superintendent Cunningham submitted answers to questions posed by Detert that grinder pump is not up to code, only serves the church, no possibilities of future use for city expansion.  Mayor Cross commented that several privately-held grinder pumps owned in Eastbrook are requesting that the city accept their pumps if Sacred Heart’s is accepted by the City. No action was taken by the Board.

Alderman Sconce made a motion, seconded by Alderman Bass to award the bid on Monroe Street Sidewalk Replacement to Henry Concrete, LLC in the amount of $33,902.50.  This passed.

Mayor Cross stated that three of the four furnaces at City Hall were out and the fourth has a strong gas odor perpetuating the need to install new furnaces.   Detert proposed  to approve the informal bid submitted by Brush’s Heating and Cooling.

City Clerk Schneider requested that Statute RSMO Section 250.140, Utility Services furnished both to Occupant and Owner of Premises (Landlord-Tenant utility responsibilities) be incorporated into city code for collection purposes.  Attorney Granneman suggested one alderman sponsor a comprehensive ordinance and request public comment.   Public commentary was received from Courtney Lenk, Barbara Huppeer, Kevin Hupper  and Kara Hupper.

Mayor Cross suggested a public hearing for comment on the issue.

Alderman Detert stated that being a landlord ‘is a business and is it fair to put burden on City for renter delinquent utility balances which drives up the cost for everyone.’

Mayor Cross stated that duplicate billing would be used to notify both owner and tenant.  Ms. Lenk stated that if renter not paying water bill then probably not paying rent but notice would help.  Mayor Cross questioned incorporating water and trash bill into rent and Ms. Lenk said property owner still get burned.

Barbara Hupper asked that if landlords are made responsible for water bill, would city be willing to put water bill in landlords’ names so landlord can decide when to turn the water off; also up to landowner to provide bill to tenant.  Ms. Hupper stated that it puts burden on responsible person—instead of irresponsible person.

Kara Hupper worked for NECAC with 100 units and said duplicate billing would turn messy, i.e., responsible for their bills or your bills.

Alderman Anderson calculated delinquency losses from 2007 at $7,300 per year based upon the figures provided by city staff which needs to be recouped.

Alderman Detert asked Water Superintendent Brian Lourance to discuss water testing violation—exceeding Coliform Bacteria.  Water Superintendent Lourance described how testing is performed  Twenty samples have been taken since incident and have met the testing requirement and no violations have been issued on those tests.

Alderman Sconce made a motion, seconded by Alderman Detert to hire Becky Stevener as Administrative Assistant-Purchasing Agent.

There was discussion of the possible sale of 650 Cap Au Gris and the need for a survey to move forward with the plan.  Alderman Bass made a motion, seconded by Alderman Walker to authorize Alderman Sconce to obtain three bids for a survey and legal description of 650 Cap Au Gris.