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Macomb Aldermen Balk at Paying Water Refund

May 14, 2012

Macomb city council members want more information about a proposal to refund money to those who live outside the city limits who paid for a hook-up to the city's water service.

Macomb estimates it charged an average of $3,000 to the 18 people in question. Aldermen appear willing to lower the fee from this point forward but they're not sold on the idea of giving refunds.

“To go back and come up with somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 for goodwill out of our coffers for people who live outside the city -- I haven't thought this one completely out yet,” said Seventh Ward Alderman Clay Hinderliter.

He was not alone in expressing concerns. Aldermen are reluctant because the city did not budget for the expense. The city would refund the difference between what was paid and the proposed new fee, which is $250 or $500, depending on the diameter of the pipe.

“This would put us in a much more competitive position to serve those people and to expand our city limits in the future,” City Administrator Dean Torreson said of the reduced fee.

He pointed out those who receive city water service could eventually be annexed into Macomb. He is concerned some of those people might choose instead to receive water from the Dallas Rural Water Co-op, which has been charging a lower hook-up fee.

The city council's Public Works Committee recommended the change to the lower fee. The full city council appears willing to support it and could vote on it soon.

The issues were discussed during the May 14 Committee of the Whole meeting. No official action was taken.