TOWN OF CATHLAMET
May 12, 2016
SPECIAL MINIMUM WATER CHARGES WORKSHOP
CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Pro-Tem Andrew Lea
The Special council meeting for the Town of Cathlamet was called to order by Mayor Pro-Tem Andrew Lea at 3:00 p.m. Thursday May 12, 2016.
Present: Council Members Ryan Smith, Andrew Lea, Bernadette Goodroe and Richard Swart. Also present was Public Works Superintendent Duncan Cruickshank and Municipal Services Clerk Kerrie McNally.
The talking points on the memo distributed by MSC McNally were discussed in order beginning with item:
1.) 13.10.040 Utility Connections – Expiration.
The Council agreed by consensus that the current six-month time period before a utility connection is considered abandoned, is not a reasonable period and could jeopardize mortgage funding on a property if the connection was abandoned before a home is complete. It was noted that the building permits are valid for a period of one year. The Council recommended extending the period from six months to one year.
2.) 13.15.005 Utility Deposits -
The Council agreed by consensus that there should be a reduced deposit amount of $100.00 for water-only customers equal to approximately two months minimum water charge. They agreed that the current $300.00 should still be required for water/sewer customers.
Also agreed by consensus was that the utility deposits should only be kept for a period of one year rather than the current five- year period and should be automatically applied to the account at the end of one year.
The Council also suggested changing the current wording regarding returning customers who left an outstanding balance which states that they should be charged “an increased security deposit” to a more definitive wording of “double security deposit”.
3.) 13.15.050 Minimum Monthly Water Charge
The Council agreed by consensus to leave the current policy in place to still charge the minimum monthly water charge regardless if water is off. This applies to all reasons for water being off including shutoffs for non-payment.
4.) 13.15.070 Adjustment of Utility Bills
The Council agreed by consensus to change the current wording which states that an appeal to the Council may be made “within 10 days of receipt of the Mayor’s decision” to “at the next regular Council Meeting” in order to avoid the need for a Special Council meeting which is often difficult to schedule due to quorum requirements.
The Council agreed that they will request the Town Attorney to prepare an amendment to the Utilities Ordinance based on these suggestions.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
Andrew Lea, Mayor Pro-Tem Kerrie McNally, Municipal Services Clerk