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McMinnville officials waived policy for a family hit with a $1,900 water bill.

“They are requesting assistance,” said Water Department director Anthony Pelham of a family on Bell Street. “If you look at the timeline, between January and February meter readings, something broke or something failed at the house. We shut it off Feb. 6 when we noticed it was running wide open. From Jan. 14 through Feb. 6, 157,000 gallons passed through the meter.”

The balance due is in excess of $1,900.

By policy set down by the city of McMinnville, Pelham has the authority to waive the sewer portion of the bill after repairs have been made and proof of that is presented.

“The only way I can adjust the sewer portion, which would be almost a $900 adjustment, is upon receipt or plumber’s statement or something that the problem has been repaired. In my discussions with the family, that has not been done. By policy, I can’t grant an adjustment.”
The family, said Pelham, offered $100 a month over and above their normal bill until the debt has been paid.

Information was presented to the city Water and Sewer Committee.

“I don’t have a problem making the adjustment as long as the meter is turned off and allowing them to pay an extra $100 a month,” said Alderman Mike Neal. “We won’t turn it back on until there’s a repair.”

Committee approval was given to waive the sewer portion of the bill. Accepting $100 a month did not need committee approval. No one currently residents in the home, and service will be reconnected once the repair has been made.