Belleville Mayor Richard Smith announced at Monday’s City Council meeting that the city was having trouble with its water meters.
In fact, the meter on his house on Main Street, that has seen much activity as part of the streetscape construction, has gotten dirt in it and stopped working completely.
He said his water bill will be estimated and he’ll catch up.
Mayor Smith said one meter was found running backward.
He said some may have been tampered with and the city will prosecute in those instances.
City Manager Diana Kollmeyer said the city is conducting audits on the billing cycles to see if there is anything irregular – bills that are too high or too low.
Kay Atkins said her water bill on South Street is normally $88 and this time it was $204 and so her meter will be checked.
“We’ve had a large water loss over the years and we don’t think it’s going into the ground,” Kollmeyer said, adding, “Somebody paying too much is as bad as someone paying too little.”
In other business at Monday’s meeting, the council:
* Approved going out for bids for surplus city property, in this case four vehicles: an econoline wagon, two pickups, and a Crown Vic police car. The bids are expected to come back to the Oct. 18 city council meeting. Kollmeyer said the vehicles are mostly inoperable;
* Removed from the agenda the “Community Message Board Policy” item because it needs more research;
* Approved $1,341,749.21 in accounts payable, including the following purchases in excess of $500: $573.96 to Office Depot for office equipment from OWI Forfeiture fund; $704 to Osborn Concrete for cemetery foundations; and $1,200 to Work’n Gear for DPS uniforms;
* Heard Mike Foley of Frosty Boy again ask the council to use the temporary easement to his property that he signed to remove the tree and buckled tree grating from the last streetscape it installed because it is now a pedestrian safety hazard. He said he sees no need for a permanent easement, which the city is requiring, since all he wants is the tree removed and cement be put in its place. There would be no maintenance needed over the years. Kollmeyer said the problem is on Foley’s property. Foley stated other businesses, including the drugstore, hardware store, seamstress and antique shop signed temporary easements and work is being done on their property. “I want to be held to the same standards…” Foley said. City Attorney John Day will look into the situation;
* Heard Mike Windiate ask the city not to close Main Street for “three hours” for a celebration, when the construction is complete. The DDA announced last week that the street would be closed sometime in November for a celebration. Windiate said the merchants would be able to see a three-minute ribbon cutting, but, “We’d like to ask there be no street closing”;
* Heard former Mayor Tom Fielder invite everyone to a Youth Forum sponsored by RACY at the Van Buren Township Hall, 7-9 p.m., Sept. 30. The event is to let the public and officials know about what’s going on with the youth, including the schools, the court, Growthworks, etc.;
* Heard Kollmeyer announce that the city taxes are now on line at belleville.mi.us and the annual financial audit will begin next week. Councilwoman Kim Tindall said she was surprised to see the assessments on line and “I have a privacy concern. It makes me really, really nervous”;
* Heard Mayor Smith report that he and County Commissioner Kevin McNamara drove around looking at county-owned streets in the city that need repair (West Columbia and East Huron River Dr.) and some smoothing out could be done in about three weeks; and
* Heard Atkins report a storm drain manhole in southbound South Street, between Wabash and Henry, is about 4-
5” below grade and could cause an accident.