Resident Raises Big Stink Over $3,000 Sewer Bill At Council Meeting

May 6, 2008


The president of the Century Town Council was forced to repeatedly strike her gavel and raise her voice to maintain order at Monday night’s meeting of the council.

The arguments from the floor erupted over an unpaid $3,000 sewage bill that the property owner says she does not owe. The bill includes amounts billed over several years.

The discussion began during the council comments portion of the meeting when council member Henry Hawkins question what the council could do about a lady that has a $3,000 bill for sewage service but does not receive service from the town.

“They were suppose to connect to the sewer system when the mobile home was placed,” Town Clerk Dorothy Sims said. She was referring to a mobile home owned by Leola Robinson in the 7500 block of Williams Street, just north of County Road 4.

While in the Town of Century, the mobile home sits with one end in the Century Water District, and the other end in the Central Water Works district.

When Robertson received her permit to place the mobile home on the lot, Sims said she agreed in writing to obtain water and sewer service from the town. But she never has; instead, she receives her water from Central Water Works and uses a septic tank.

“I could not see, and I trusted her,” Robertson said, adding that she did not know the she signed a permit agreeing to obtain water and sewer from Century.

“This has come up for years,” Sims said. “Every time there is a new council she comes in here and tries to get out of the bill.”

“Mrs. Sims,” Robertson responded, “You are telling the wrong thing.”

Council President Anne Brooks banged her gavel and raised her voice in an attempt to gain order and stop the argument between Robertson and Brooks, one of many times during the meeting.

Hawkins proposed that the town just forgive the past due sewer bill.

But Mayor Freddie McCall said that everyone in the town is required to have sewer service, not a septic tank, under town ordinances.

“The fact is that even if they have a septic tank, they need to pay for sewer,” Council President Anne Brooks said. Both the mayor and Sims agreed that there are other residents in the town that have septic tanks, but they pay a monthly minimum for sewer service they do not actually have in order to comply with the law.

“The only thing you can make do,” Robertson told the council, “is you can put me in jail. I’m ready. I’m not going to pay one penny.”

Robertson told the council she had tried to get sewer service, but there was no sewer line in front of the mobile home.

Mayor McCall proposed that the town install a sewer line on Williams Road to the front of Robertson’s property if she agreed to connect to the service and fill-in the septic tank.

“We will go the extra mile on this, and it won’t cost us that much,” McCall said. As for the past due bill, what happens will be dictated by the law, he said.

“That’s exactly what we’ve been asking to do, begging, to do,” Robertson said of the mayor’s proposal.

Action on the situation and mayor’s proposal was postponed until the next council meeting on May 19.

Pictured above: Mayor Freddie McCall shows council members Nadine McCaw and Anne Brooks (right) how the trailer is split by two water districts. photo, click to enlarge.


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