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Billue administration addresses water billing

Three months into her term, White Mayor Kim Billue said she and her staff are still trying to clean up the mess left by the previous one.

“A lot of you have been calling and complaining about your water bills,” City Clerk Robin Deal said. “I’m going to try my best to explain what happened.”

Deal said in October that the water meters weren’t read until Nov. 30. The prior month's reading was on Halloween — a 30-day cycle. But they gave the due date as the end of December. 

“Before the previous administration left office,” Deal said, her voice dripping with sarcasm, “they decided they would go ahead and do all of us a favor and bill you guys again. But they mailed the bill on the same day it was due, so the bill was late before it ever arrived. That meant the bill was much higher because it had 13 more days usage.

"In summary," Deal said, "water rates haven’t gone up, you got two bills in December, which screwed up the whole thing, and some of you got a late fee even though your bill wasn’t late."

In another resolution, Council passed an ordinance forbidding the use of “Jake brakes,” an engine braking mechanism installed on some tractor trailer trucks. 

When activated, it opens exhaust valves in the cylinders after the compression cycle, releasing the compressed air trapped in the cylinders, and slowing the vehicle. It is also very loud.

“With the increased truck traffic on 411,” police chief Dane Hunter said, “we are getting lots of noise complaints from people who live near the highway.”

Hunter said the next month will be treated as an information period before the police begin issuing citations.

In other business, council:

• Approved the 2018 city budget.

• Heard a progress report on the Richards Road drainage project.

• Approved procuring a credit card for city business.