Attorney Eyes Water Use Legality - The Missourian: Local News

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Attorney Eyes Water Use Legality

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Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2013 7:00 am

Attorney Kevin Richardson said he wants to look into the legal issues regarding a situation that has St. Clair providing water to a business located outside of the city limits.

Last Tuesday, Richardson was filling in for Kurt Voss, who serves as the city’s attorney. Both are lawyers for Zick, Voss, Politte & Richardson Attorneys at Law in Washington.

City Administrator Rick Childers informed the St. Clair Board of Aldermen during its rescheduled July 9 meeting that Franklin County Towing, 933 North Service Road, is requesting the continuation of water and sewer services at its location.

“They’re outside of the city limits,” Childers said. “But they have been connected to city utilities.”

Childers said there has been a meter at the location for years. But, the business only has been located there for a short time.

He also said the business is considering asking to be annexed into the city limits, “but until then they would like the city to provide water and sewer services.”

The city administrator said it usually is not the practice of a municipality to  do that, “but since we’re already doing it, I thought maybe we might want to consider it.”

“Unfortunately, the practice of the city has been to not provide water outside the city limits, and the property is outside the city limits,” Childers told The Missourian. “So the question is whether to make an exception to that practice or dig up the meter. We do offer sewer service outside the city limits so that part is not an issue.”

Ward 1 Alderman Nathan Tate asked about the legality of providing the utilities. At that point, Richardson said he would have to check on the issue. He recommended the aldermen table a decision until a future meeting.

So, that’s what the board did. The matter is on the aldermen’s Monday agenda.

Franklin County Towing is located between Turtle Ridge Drive and Whispering Pines Drive west of Anaconda. St. Clair’s city limits extend west along the Interstate 44 corridor to include the rest area just east of Anaconda Road.

“They told us about the meter and began paying once we began reading the meter,” Childers said. “The meter and service has been there, and been on, for some unknown amount of time and was almost certainly being used for free by anyone at the location.

“We don’t know when it was installed, but the towing company is apparently the first to set up service officially and pay for it.”

Tiffany Burton, the city’s accounts receivable clerk, confirmed to The Missourian that the business is using the meter and is paying for the water and sewer.

“They just moved in last month, but before that I’m not sure what was there if there was anything,” she said. “But apparently there was a meter for city water put out there and it works, so I’m sending them a bill.”

/local_news

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