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Lincolnville council discusses delinquent bills

Staff writer

The big topic Monday at the Lincolnville City Council meeting was what to do about delinquent sewer bills.

The city had switched from having delinquent bills attached to property taxes to seeking redress through the court system.

Neither one seems to have worked well.

City Attorney Lori Kirkpatrick sent a letter requesting more time to work on the problem. She wrote that she had obtained judgments totaling $5,494.21 against delinquent payers and was working to place garnishments on several bank accounts. She described the steps she can take that could result in settlement.

Joe Vinduska said the council could revert to placing delinquent bills onto property taxes but, if the property taxes were not paid, it would take three years to recoup the money in a sheriff’s sale.

“We’re spending more money than we will ever get back,” he noted.

Mowing bills are another problem. According to a city ordinance, if a property owner is notified about mowing the property and does not do so, the city will do it and send a bill. Vinduska suggested delinquent mowing bills should be attached to property taxes if the ordinance allows.

City maintenance worker Troy Peterson reported that a contractor for Tri-County Telephone Association pierced a sewer line with a rod while installing fiber optic cable in Lincolnville. Tri-County is paying for repairs.

The council approved a motion to repair a broken sewer line at Seventh and Wichita streets and a problem at the shop well. The cost of the sewer line repair is $1,301. The cost at the well is $488.

Treasurer Clay Simons said the city is “fine” financially. When the issue of a broken air conditioner was raised, he said there was enough money in the capital outlay fund to repair or replace it. Peterson will get bids on both options.

Other problems addressed were a hole in the batter’s backstop at the ballpark and lack of proper rainwater drainage at the community building.

The council approved an insurance policy. It is unchanged from the previous year.

Mayor Barb Kaiser reported the new basketball goals are up and are getting a lot of use.

She said the new siren system is complete. It is activated through the telephone system. She asked for direction on getting rid of the old siren. She said at least two entities have expressed interest in it. Vinduska said he will look into listing it on Purple Wave and selling it to the highest bidder. The next meeting is at 7 p.m. June 4.

Last modified May 10, 2012

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