Trailer community appeals town’s water rates
March 24, 2009
A trailer community in Hot Sulphur Springs is challenging the town for raising its water rates.
Last June, owners of 10 units in the Haeger’s and Berhley’s mobile homes of the Grand West Trailer Park received bills with an increase from $19.20 per quarter to $192 per quarter.
Some owners paid, while others did not.
The reason for the increase, according to the town, was because the park had been wrongly assessed all along ” its water rates had been established according to taps rather than per units.
The billing mistake was uncovered when the town did repairs to the main last June and discovered there were 10 three-quarter-inch service lines leading to mobile homes.
From that point forward ” or “out of the blue,” according to Grand West’s attorney Rich Newton ” the town began charging rates per trailer.
At Thursday’s Hot Sulphur Springs town board meeting, Newton and park property owner Diane Brusco negotiated with board members on behalf of trailer residents.
Town board members appeared less than willing to meet Brusco and absent husband Jim Ward halfway on water bills owed in front of a roomful of residents attending the board meeting for another water-rate agenda item ” all who indicated they’d been paying the standard rate all along when asked by Mayor Hershal Deputy.
Attorney Newton maintained the town’s ordinances had no basis for the charges his clients had incurred.
The mayor said the town’s attorney and Newton disagree.
In order to avoid a legal dispute ” one Hot Sulphur Springs cannot afford, Deputy said ” town officials resolved to forgive 25 percent of the more than $5,000 in unpaid water bills and late fees.
To that, Newton and his client thanked the town and folded up their papers, to no deal.
Deputy suggested the board at some point discuss the matter further in executive session.
” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.