At their meeting Monday night, the Chariton City Council discussed and took action on whether or not to forgive a portion of a sewer bill for a house at 1607 Franklin Ave. in Chariton.

The owner of the house, Pat Schultz of Chariton, was not at the meeting Monday night. Council members weren’t sure if anyone currently lived there. The newspaper contacted Schultz after the meeting and she said she doesn’t live there but owns the house at 1607 Franklin and her family uses it as a guest house.

Schultz sent the council a letter saying that on March 7, 2019, the house at 1607 Franklin had broken pipes. She said that water was coming out of a crawl space from the house and going across the yard and down the street. Schultz said the water office called and she had them shut off the water service to the house.

“I lost 18,618 gallons of water, none of which went down the sewer. It all went down the street,” Schultz said in the letter.

Schultz had also told the newspaper on Monday night that the pipes had froze before they broke and have since been fixed and the water service returned to the house.

Schultz asked the city council in the letter if it was possible to not charge her for the entire sewer bill since the water did not go down the city sewer. The total amount of the sewer bill was $115.50.

Schultz attached a utility billing history inquiry of recent month’s sewer and water bills she had for the property at 1607 Franklin to the letter she sent. But she was only asking the city about forgiving the sewer bill dated March 29, 2019.

Chariton City Clerk Christy Metzger said that she has looked back at a couple of past requests, and that it looks like for residential customers that the general practice was to forgive 33 percent of bills such as this, with a cap amount of $100. Thirty-three percent of $115.50 is roughly $38.12.

Council member Mike Graves said the house at 1607 Franklin is located behind where he lives and that he noticed a large rectangular opening on the south side of the house. Graves guessed that cold air got in through the open space and froze the pipes while the water service was still on at the house. Graves said the space has been open for quite awhile.

Read the April 18, 2019 edition of the Chariton Herald-Patriot for the rest of the story.

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