Andrews' Town Council discusses water bill payment plan

Concerns over unpaid water bills and the plans for recovering from the contamination of well water were the main focuses of the Andrews' Town Council meeting held on Monday, July 13, at the Andrews Volunteer Fire Department.

Councilman John Harshbarger announced that there is approximately $22,000 in unpaid water bills for the town of Andrews. Clerk-Treasurer Laury Powell discussed a contract available that will give those with delinquent accounts six months to pay the delinquent portion and current portion at the same time. After the contract is signed, should a customer who signed the contract miss a payment, the town has the right to shut the customer’s water off or possibly put a lien on the home.

Plans for recovering from the contamination of the water in Well 1 were also discussed. Should pending litigation prove the town is held responsible for the contamination, “we would have to do it ourselves and pay for it ourselves,” Harshbarger said. It was stressed to those in attendance that a “Plan B” would only come into play after the results of the lawsuit were finalized.

“We’re going to pursue this. We aren’t going to give up,” Harshbarger said.

During the department reports, Town Marshal Austin Bullock discussed the need to replace three of the police department’s body armor units. Each body armor unit has a shelf life of five years, and that expiration date had been reached for three of the units. The motion to approve the new body armor passed.

Fire chief Tom Wuensch discussed an over-the-phone audit with the fire department’s insurance agent. Of the 75 questions asked, only two required follow up. First, that hoses on the outside of the firetrucks need to be better secured to avoid injury to others. Second, that training techniques for driving firetrucks need to be updated. Both subjects have been taken into account, and Wuensch is working towards solutions.

Powell discussed health insurance and how rates may go up depending on whether or not an agreement can be made between Parkview and Anthem Blue-Cross Blue-Shield.

In other business, Laura Dillon discussed water purchases and donations that have been made since the do-not-drink order came out in June. The town has spent $2,000 on water, and other water has been donated. According to Dillon, the Salvation Army and Community Harvest were to bring water in the afternoon of July 14, and donation money will be used to purchase more. Water from Meijer will be coming during the week of July 19, once a list of what is needed is made.

The town council also passed a motion to keep Town Hall closed until more information is received from Gov. Holcomb about re-opening phases. The option to put up sneeze guards was also discussed.

The town council also motioned to keep town council meetings to one per month at least through August, and the motion passed.