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Desloge to purchase part of Park Hills water system

DESLOGE — After years of bickering and lawsuits, it appears that Desloge and Park Hills may finally be coming to an agreement concerning the water system. During Desloge’s board of aldermen meeting on Monday, the issuance of $4,815,000 in waterworks revenue bonds was approved. Of that, $1.5 million will be used to purchase the portion of Park Hills’ water system that is located within Desloge’s city limits.

Mayor David Kater said the transaction will include the water lines that are within the city limits of Desloge, the easements and the fire hydrants.

“Unfortunately, I can’t say a whole lot more at this point due to a confidentiality agreement we have with Park Hills,” he said.

Kater would not comment as to when a closing date will take place for the transaction.

Desloge went online with its own water system in the fall of 2007. Approximately 65 service connections were made in the first phase of the water system. Phase two is currently under construction. It includes an additional 150 service connections.

Desloge has already filed a motion to drop its water usage surcharge lawsuit against Park Hills. The lawsuit pertained to a $5 surcharge that was assessed to Desloge water customers from the latter part of 1994 to 1998 and from 1998 to 2000 when Desloge residents where charged double while commercial businesses were charged triple amounts.

An e-mailed statement from City Administrator Greg Camp said, “The City of Desloge and the City of Park Hills are jointly requesting a dismissal of the class action lawsuit to recover alleged overcharges within Desloge for drinking water during the years 1994 to 2000. As stated in the published Notice, the dismissal of the lawsuit should not affect the rights of any customers to bring a separate lawsuit to recover alleged overcharges for water. This request for dismissal is part of a larger process to resolve the disputes between the cities which is still ongoing. We are not at liberty to discuss that process at this time. The City of Desloge assures you that we will discuss the larger process at the time we are permitted to do so.”

The breakdown of the bond proceeds will be $1.5 million for the  purchase from Park Hills, $990,478.57 for city expenditures, tank and pumps and $1,389,070.71 for a contract. An additional $481,500 will go into a reserve fund and $345,730.47 will be used for capitalized interest. The cost to issue the bonds is $58,000 and the underwriter’s discount is $50,220.05. The bonds were approved by Desloge voters on April 4, 2000.

The board also voted to sell a piece of property located at 108 North Grant Street for $6,000 to RBKP Properties. The bid was the highest of two bids received for the property.

The board confirmed Larry Gremminger as the city’s fire chief and will advertise a van and a truck for sale that are currently used by the fire department.

The board also pledged the city’s support to bring the American Veterans Traveling Tribute and the Traveling Wall Foundation to Desloge this summer.

“The VFW Ladies Auxiliary asked us (the city) if we would take the lead in brining this here,” Kater said. “All they are asking from us is to say that we want this exhibit in the city park.”

City Administrator Greg Camp said the auxiliary is going to seek donations for the $9,750 it will take to bring the exhibit to Desloge.

“They want to use the city as a fallback if they come up short,” he said. “I don’t foresee that being a problem. It could be worked into the new budget.”

The aldermen approved a motion that pledges the city’s support in bringing the exhibit to Desloge.

Chris Cline is a reporter for the Daily Journal. Contact him at 573-431-2010, ext. 114 or at

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