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PRWID Endorses Wellington City's Payment Schedule

Sun Advocate editor

Wellington and Price River Water Improvement District have resolved an ongoing issue regarding the city's delinquent payments.

On Feb. 15, the PRWID board accepted a payment schedule proposed by Wellington to bring the city's water and sewer bills current by January 2006.

Introducing the matter at last week's public meeting, PRWID assistant director Jeff Richens indicated that the district had received a letter from the city outlining Wellington's proposed water and sewer payment schedule.

According to the letter, Wellington will submit water and sewer payments to PRWID in three-week intervals rather than a standard monthly basis until the city's delinquent bills are satisfied.

The city's payment plan excluded the months of April and October, when Wellington has financial bond-related obligations to meet.

"My concern is - what if Wellington doesn't make the payments?" commented water improvement district board member Tom Matthews.

"We'll pay interest," replied Wellington Mayor Karl Houskeeper, who also occupies a seat on the water improvement district advisory board.

The Wellington mayor's response failed to calm Matthews' concern regarding the money the city owes PRWID.

Wellington pays interest on water, not on sewer services, pointed out Matthews.

Reiterating his concern about Wellington falling so far behind on the payments, Matthews indicated he would not have "such a hard feeling" about the situation if the city had not been collecting money from residents for the water and sewer services.

Houskeeper challenged Matthews' assessment of the matter, but the mayor admitted Wellington should have raised the city's water and sewer rates before the present situation occurred.

Following the discussion, Matthews moved to accept Wellington's proposed payment schedule, contingent upon the city agreeing to notify the PRWID business office in the event payments could not be submitted as specified in the letter.

Houskeeper objected to the stipulation, but PRWID board member Keith Cox pointed out that notifying the district represented a common courtesy practice.

After PRWID director Phil Palmer indicated that the water improvement district staff would review and quarterly report the status of Wellington's payments, the board voted to pass Matthews' motion, complete with the notification stipulation.

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