Kirksville City Council gives residents a break on water bills

The City of Kirksville is in the process of replacing all water meters in the city, approximately 7,000 total.

A lot of people whose meters are inside the house or otherwise not easily accessible have remote readers.

At this point, crews have replaced about one-fourth of the meters and discovered several remote readers had not properly recorded the actual amount of water used.

That meant excessive "catch-up billsâ?? for a few residents, some as high as 1,000, one even as high as $1,200.

Crystal Douglas stepped up the the podium at Monday evenings city council meeting and told the councilmen that she got a water bill for $283.

"Kirksville owns the meters,â?? Douglas said. â??They never did ask to come in and check the meter, and I think it's (the cityâ??s) place to check the meters. There's a lot of older people (who) can't do that."

Douglas said her bill is usually in the $40 range.

During the meeting, the city council cut Douglas a break, along with anyone else whose has had a new water meter installed.

The council voted unanimously to authorize the use of the remote reader to calculate those customers' water bills.

The reading from the remote readers will also be used for the approximately three-fourths that remain to be replaced.

Residents who have already paid their "catch-up bill" will be issued a credit on their account.

All of the water meters in Kirksville are being replaced with the goal of obtaining more-accurate readings.

Also at Monday evening's meeting, the council approved a labor agreement governing benefits and working conditions for Kirksville firefighters.

It took union representatives and city leaders a few months to reach a compromise agreement that both sides could agree on.