Woodstock changes water and sewer leak policy

Woodstock town administrators have changed the policy for adjusting bills in homes where water or sewer leaks have occurred.

The town’s water and sewer billing leak adjustment policy has not been changed in about 14 years.

“The leak adjustment policy has served the town’s needs during that time but in the interest of continuing to provide excellent customer service, we find it necessary to update some of the leak policy,” town manager Angela Clem said.

The following changes were recommended and approved at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

  • The former policy did not permit an adjustment for leaks that occurred inside of a home, such as from a faulty toilet or a leaking faucet. The revision allows for an adjustment to the bill for inside leaks. The customer will pay an average bill and one-half the excess billing for both water and sewer. (This type of leak utilizes both water and sewer services.)
  • The revised policy allows for an adjustment for an outside leak that occurs between the water meter and the structure with the customer paying an average bill and one-half the excess billing for water services. (Sewer services are not utilized in this type of leak and therefore removed from the bill.)
  • The revised policy gives someone 15 days to make a request for an adjustment as opposed to the previous allotted 10 day period.
  • The revised policy requires confirmation that a leak has been repaired through an owner’s affidavit or plumber’s bill. Woodstock staff will have the ability to confirm there is no longer a leak at the property by checking the meter.
  • The former policy only allowed for one adjustment in a 12-month period. The revised policy allows for an adjustment at the town manger’s discretion each time a leak occurs.
  • Woodstock has also been recognized with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for its fiscal year 2018 budget. This is the fourth year in a row the town has won the prestigious award, Clem told council members.

“The Town of Woodstock is certainly proud to receive this award. We do not pursue awards, however, just for the sake of receiving a plaque or certificate. We first pursue the best management practice in the industry — we look to professional standards and aspirational communities and apply or modify those in order to serve our citizens in the best way possible,” Clem stated afterwards.

The award is based on how the city’s annual budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

“This is amazing, especially for a town this size. This should give residents great confidence in this organization,” said Woodstock Mayor Jeremy McCleary.