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Water meter reading error leads to $1,000 adjustment in water meter account for Poplarville resident

The Poplarville Board of Aldermen approved eight water meter account adjustments that were needed due to water meter reading error. In one instance a resident’s account balance was reduced by over $1,000.

The Board waited to discuss the requested meter adjustments in executive session, citing personnel matters within the public works department as the reason the matter needed to be discussed in executive session.

After executive session, the Board terminated a public works department employee and approved the adjustments for all eight accounts. One resident had an account balance of $1,208, but based on the average water consumption for the six months prior, the Board reduced the account balance by $1,116 to just $91.

Collectively, the Board approved $2,037 in account reductions for the eight accounts.

The Board also approved the purchase of a new Kubota RTV, the vehicle the public works department meter reader uses for the job. The current meter reading cart suffered significant damage to the motor due to a hole in the radiator and is not worth repairing, said Public Works Director Sam Hale. The Board approved purchasing a new one with a diesel engine for $11,062 and trading in the old one for $1,000. Hale said he believes the new machine should last the department 10 to 12 years. The Board also considered a vehicle that would have been approximately $3,000 cheaper, but Hale believed it would wear out significantly faster and would not have been immediately available.

The Public Works Department had money in its budget to purchase a new truck in the current fiscal year, so that money will instead be allotted to the meter reader vehicle, said Mayor Rossie Creel.

In other business the Board:

—Approved the final payment of $1,000 to CEI Concrete Services, LLC for concrete work adjacent to Main Street.

—Approved the annual hardware and software maintenance agreements with BBI, Inc. for accounting programs.

—Approved a leak adjustment request, reducing a water bill by $147.

The next Board meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 5 p.m. in Poplarville’s City Hall