McIntosh Mirror: Reflecting news in the Tosh

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Light-up McIntosh December 15

Light-up McIntosh will begin at the Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. The event will host Santa Clause and an area choir from six local churches will sing.

05.11.07 -- REPORT: Council introduces water maintenance fee

By CHER PHILLIPS

The McIntosh Town Council voted 3-2 to introduce a water maintenance fee of $96 a year for every household in McIntosh to pay for pending repairs. The proposed fee would mean every business and household would pay $8 month for a year beginning in July for water fees.

Word first started to filter into the public arena in an offhand comment made by Council President Frank Ciotti in the April meeting that the town of McIntosh can not account for all of its water.

This month, the council spoke openly about the issue.

Town Clerk Debbie Miller reported to the council members that the town was losing 15,600 gallons of water on a daily basis for the month of April.

Miller said the Florida Department of Environmental Protection requires that the town record the number of gallons pumped and compare them to the number of gallons billed.

She said the town's maintenance staff thought the problem was due to the meter on the first of the town's two pumps not accurately recording the number of gallons pumped, based on the conclusion pump number one pumped 900 gallons in a two-hour period, while pump number two pumped 30,000 gallons.

The cost to replace the meter could be anywhere from $800 - $1,200.

The council voted to spend $3,500 to automate the pump system in an emergency meeting in April. When that work was done, the town was advised that pump number one, a 25-horse pump that's at least 15 years old will not last much longer.

"Pump number one is not going to last forever," Miller said. "It could last a month, it could last nine months, it could last a year. We don't know."

Miller suggested the council start allocating money for repair and guessed that a new pump would be as much as $10,000.

Councilman Lee Deaderick thought they might need anywhere from $10,000 t0 $25,000 and introduced fee to build an enterprise account for repairing the water plant.

He suggested the fees be increased based on each individual customer in the town, as opposed to a charge per gallons. Last year, Deaderick voted against a water rate increase. He said this method was a way of kick-starting a water fund. He said he was against the water rate increase proposed a year ago because it was for no reason and preferred a fee that lasted a fixed amount of time. After the first year, the town could then adjust the water rate to meet the expenses for upkeep on the water plant.

Initially Deaderick introduced a fee of $20 per customer for a year. After discussion the motion passed with a rate hike of $8 per commercial user or household for a period of one year.

Ciotti said he liked the idea of building a reserve, but thought that $20 was steep. He voted against the fee because he said he was not sure how it would work.

One of the unknowns discussed was how to charge households like those living in mobile home parks and residents with more than one water meter who may not be directly billed by the town for their water. Bill Glass, owner of a mobile home park on the north end of town, said at the meeting that he had a previous agreement with the town, as did others.

Councilwoman Eunice Smith was the other dissenting vote. Smith has a record of voting against water rate increases, over her 29 years on the council or as town clerk.

Next month, the council will have to vote again on the issue, after hearing how the fee would impact those with special agreements with the town.

***

Mayor Marsha Strange announced that there will be a Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker posted on U.S. 441 on the south end of McIntosh on May 30 at 10 a.m.

"The marker is a tribute to the armed forces that have defended the United States of America," Strange said. "It should be a lovely marker."

McIntosh's Garden Club applied for the marker.

She also announced that Bobby Hatchett passed away.

***

The council tabled an ordinance introduced by town attorney Scott Walker that would prohibit sexual predators and offenders from living within 2,500-foot radius of areas where children congregate.

The ordinance would limit sexual predators living in McIntosh to living in two small corners in town, where there is no housing. One is near the Leytem's land and the other area in the furthest corner of Robert's Acres.

The state has a law already limited offenders from living 1,000 feet from areas where children congregate and is proposing a similar 2,500-foot radius.

Since the state already has a law, the council voted to table the ordinance until another time when they are proposing a number of ordinances.


****


Listen to the May 10, 2007 Town Council Meeting:
(Internet Explorer users may need to click the start arrow twice)

Part 1:












Part 2:








(Editor's Note: I am working with a new microphone and the sound quality might be funky while I work out the kinks. I digitally amplified the sound on part one.)

Labels: ,

posted by Cher @ 10:35 PM,

1 Comments:

At   May 15, 2007 12:30 PM     ,    Anonymous Anonymous    said...

If you are going to raise the water rates then it should be for each individual house or trailer.

 

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Editor and Publisher:

I'm Cher From McIntosh, FL I'm a graduate student at the University of Florida working on a master's degree in Mass Communication. While I was finishing my undergrad degree in journalism last year, I reported on McIntosh, Fla. for an in-depth reporting class. I figured that the reporting and the public record files should go somewhere people can access them. Reporters don't report to keep the information they find to themselves. Some of that reporting is included here in a forum that allows response. McIntosh suffers because with no news coverage, the local government and the rumor mill have too much potential to run rampant over residents. I moved to McIntosh in the fall of 1999. My profile

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The primary purpose of this blog is to accurately reflect what happens in town public meetings and dispel rumors. I record the meetings and make them available for download. One of the goals of this blog is to offer residents a place to voice opinions. The comments, views and opinions expressed there are not necessarily those of the editor.

 
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