Washburn approves new water ordinance

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

City hopes new system will cut down on unpaid bills

Washburn's city council recently approved an ordinance requiring applicants requesting water services to provide the city collector with documented proof of water services for the six months immediately preceding the application.

If the applicants are in good standing, they will have to pay a deposit of $110.

If the applicants cannot prove good standing, they will have to pay $220 for the deposit.

The city collector will keep records, and the deposit can be returned when the service is disconnected, and all bills are paid in full.

"We have people move in and out leaving water bills," said John Tiedeman, Washburn mayor. "We hope this will deter from that."

In addition, if any street or sidewalk must be disturbed by a new water service installation, the applicant must pay $250 for the repair. If the repair cost more, the applicant will be billed on the first water bill.

The city also dealt with several homes experiencing water leaks due to the cold weather, but none in main lines. Water customers who experienced leaks saw their bills averaged over the three months prior, rather than making them pay for the entire leaks.

"We only saw a 3.65 percent water loss for the city, and anything below 10 percent the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) calls excellent," Tiedeman said.

Water loss is measured in percent of unaccounted for water loss of the overall system.

Washburn's city council is also investigating having an ordinance for burn bans, and may be putting out a sign to let residents know burning is not safe.

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