The Grove Municipal Service Authority Board discussed the city’s progress on finding and fixing leaks in the water system.
City Manager Bruce Johnson reported that all but 60 of the loggers the city has purchased to ferret out the leaks have been installed.
At this time, Johnson said, workers have discovered seven probable and 66 possible leaks.
Prompted by a question from citizen Judith Read, Johnson explained that “probable” means there is a better than 50/50 chance of a leak, while “possible” means there is a less than 50/50 chance of a leak.
The city currently loses more than half of its treated water between the pump station and the faucet.
Chairman Larry Green expressed frustration at the ongoing problem.
“It does not have an easy solution,” he said.
In other business the GMSA Board approved an agreement between GMSA and Garver Engineers, LLC for professional engineering services.
“I hope it (this agreement) is as fruitful for us as it was for the Grove Airport Authority,” Green said.
The board also listened to a complaint from citizen Bob Brogden regarding utility deposits.
Brogden said that he did not have an individual dispute with the city, but a procedural dispute about the city’s process for collecting deposits.
“Deposit are typically taken to provide insurance that clients will pay their bills on time,” Brogden noted. “After the client has established good credit, deposits are usually returned.”
He said that he has been paying his utility bills for two different businesses and his home for the past 12 years, yet when he wanted to open a third business in town, he still had to pay a utility deposit.
“Especially in this economy, this is not helpful to new business owners with a good credit history,” Brogden said. “It is an unkind system.”
He added that he has never been required to pay a deposit to any other utility service if he had a good credit history with them, and cited PSO and REC as examples.
Green responded that the city’s policy on utility deposits was not unusual.
City Attorney David Jones said that since Brogden was only listed on the meeting agenda as having an individual dispute with the GMSA Board, members could not launch into a full discussion of the problem and that perhaps it should be placed on a future agenda.
The board voted 3-1, with member Berwin Kock absent, to stay with the current utility deposit policy.
Board Member Gary Herrington cast the one vote against the motion.