EDINBURG – Town Council members passed a resolution to collect water fees from multi-use buildings and read a town ordinance establishing a leash law for the first time on Tuesday evening.
Mayor Dan Harshman explained the town has a resident who owes more than $800 in delinquent water fees. However, the town cannot shut off the water because the building serves more than one resident while having only one meter, Harshman said.
“What we are proposing is that in situations like [this],” Harshman said, “is that the landlord will be responsible for the water bills.”
All present council members approved the resolution.
Water fees and water leaks have posed problems for Edinburg in recent months. While collecting fees will be easier with the new resolution, Harshman told council members and residents attending the meeting the town was still working on fixing recent leaks.
“Some smaller leaks have been located and have either been addressed or will be soon,” Harshman said. “We have investigated a number of other areas without finding any leaks.”
Aside from chasing leaks that are causing low water pressure and occasional outages, Harshman told council members there were continued issues with a pump on one of the town’s wells. The town could replace the pump or have its motor rebuilt at a cost of about $1,800, Harshman said.
The town did bring in $104,500 in sewer and tap fees through a program Harshman suggested to council members late last year. The town offered a reduced fee and options on the taps for future building in an attempt to raise money instead of seeking a loan. Council members did authorize Harshman and Vice Mayor Stephen Wood to seek a loan before people started purchasing the taps.
Harshman said the town has avoided having to seek a loan, but considering the continuing troubles, a future loan might still be necessary.
Next month, council members will vote on whether to approve a town ordinance that gives guidance for town officials — mainly police officers — on how to deal with dogs running off-leash.
Prior to Tuesday’s regular meeting, some residents attended a public hearing to discuss the proposed ordinance. Most supported the leash law that has provisions for dog owners to walk their dogs off leash if they have the dog “under their control.”
Vicki Lutz, an Edinburg resident, said she had been in touch with Harshman while discussions about forming the ordinance were taking place. She said she appreciated the research done on the ordinance to allow a wide range of accommodations.
“Being a dog person, I certainly don’t believe your dog should run on someone else’s’ property,” she said. “I think that’s part of being a good dog owner, is making sure they’re contained.”
“But I like that there are allowances for different people to do that in different ways,” Lutz continued. “I think different dogs, depending on what their capabilities are, can have different things.”
Lutz explained there is a man whose dog has a neurological condition where he can’t be walked on a leash, so the owner puts his dog in a stroller and walks him around town.
The proposed ordinance allows for dogs to be on a physical leash, or be controlled by other means such as hand or voice signals. Council members will vote on the ordinance next month.
All council members were present at Tuesday’s meeting with the exception of Bill Boone.