The owner of Cotten Apartments has made arrangements with the city of McMinnville to satisfy an overdue water bill at the apartment complex.
Alderman Everett Brock says the city has reached an agreement with apartment owner Evelyn Cotten.
“She came in yesterday and a settlement was reached,” Brock said Friday.
According to the terms, Cotten must pay half of the outstanding $15,300 water bill by the end of December and the remaining half by the end of January.
That amount is $1,400 less than what was originally owned, as a water line break and an evaluation of her monthly statements warranted a bill adjustment from the city. However, the reduced amount does not include the monthly water bills owed for December and January.
If the agreement is satisfied, it will end a situation that began Dec. 4 when dozens of residents had their water shut off by the city. The termination outraged families who paid for utilities with their monthly rent and were not notified their water service would be interrupted.
Cotten maintained a water line break caused by the city was responsible for the high bill and claimed the city was unwilling to work with her. The city said Cotten never mentioned a leak, or tried to work out an agreement on payments.
Stuck in the middle of the standoff were the residents left without water. In a humanitarian gesture by McMinnville officials, water was restored Dec. 10. Cotten was given until Jan. 2 to satisfy the bill or service would be shut off again.
What the agreement will not end are any lawsuits filed by Cotten Apartment residents seeking restitution for being without water for six days. Attorney Michael Galligan is representing residents Joyce Taylor and Douglas Gordon McCrary for free.
If Cotten does not pay the agreed upon payment by the end of December, water could still be cut off Jan. 2.