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Park Hills Council considers water adjustments

Undetected, a water leak can add easily double or triple your water bill. Tonight, Park Hills City Council will address what adjustments, if any, should be made to the bill when that happens.

The council will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers in City Hall, following an executive session at 6:30 p.m. in the Park Hills Depot Conference Room.

The council first looked at the water adjustment proposal (Bill 848) at their Feb. 10 meeting, but tabled the issue to give staff time to gather information from other cities regarding adjustment policies.

City staff found no similar policies in neighboring communities. When the question was posted to a city administrator network, six respondents said their city did not adjust water charges, but most provide for sewer bill adjustments. One person said adjustments were made only if bills were very high. Another said adjustments were only made if the leak was repaired within 10 days of discovery of high usage.

Only one citizen called the city to comment on the issue. That man said he supported adjustments only for leaks that occur between the meter and the building foundation. He also supported a policy that gave an adjustment for more than one month if the water leak could not be immediately identified and elevated usage continued for more than a month.

The proposed amendment makes consumers liable for all water that is used, wasted or lost through a leak. A monthly bill may be adjusted at the request of the customer in cases where a leak is detected and repaired by the customer.  The plumber’s receipt, materials receipt and other pertinent documents must be presented when asking for the adjustment. The bill for the highest usage will then be estimated on the basis of average consumption for the previous three months.

If a meter stops registering water usage, it will be changed or repaired and that bill will be estimated on the basis of the average charges for the previous three months.

In other business, the council will discuss three price estimates for landscaping of the roundabout in front of Central High School. Prices include a drip or soaker hose underground watering system. The estimates: All About Landscaping, $10,385; All Seasons Landscaping, $5,367.75; and Fox Farm Nursery, $7,995.

If the city wants a street clock in the center of the roundabout instead of a large spruce tree, those costs would drop about $400 before the price of the clock is added. However, the price for a clock, not counting installation, is $23,140, which is “considerably out of our price range,” City Administrator John Kennedy wrote in a summary to the council. He anticipates a quote from a second company to be addressed at the meeting.

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at


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