Alba council considers plan to address multiple residences on water accounts

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Alba City Council took steps last week to address city water customers who are in violation of regulations that require a water service account for each residence.

Paul Kelbe, water and wastewater superintendent, said a quick review of potential violations numbered at least 15, possibly more.

He gave as an example a residence with a water tap that then had another residential structure added, to be occupied by a family member. Rather than pay the expense of a new water tap, water service was added onto the existing residential line.

He explained that once the family member is no longer residing there, the property owner could then lease it, becoming a landlord and required to have a separate account.

The council voted unanimously to proceed with a proposed ordinance that would require such users to sign up for master meter accounts, which would be charged 50 percent more than the regular residential base rate of $24 per month.

The per-gallon usage charge would remain the same after the $36 base rate. Sewer rates would similarly be effected inside the city limits, with a 50 percent increase to the base rate.

Council members questioned what the city would do once the residents are sent a letter and they don’t respond to the new regulations.

Kelbe indicated that if needed, the city can consider cutting off water to the residences to gain compliance.

The council also canceled the May 4 election as none of the three seats on the ballot are contested.

Mayor Sonny Hass will serve another term, as will Alderman Larry Harris. Don Heinert will assume the other council seat, which his wife, Mayor Pro Tem Marja Heinert, is not seeking again.

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