RUSS to install more shut-off valves in December
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Another wave of shut-off valves will be installed in December, Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) Executive Director Bruce Hudson told his board of directors Wednesday during the board’s regular monthly meeting.
“In December, we are going to start the process of installing shut-off valves (on the systems of delinquent customers),” Hudson said.
Hudson did not say where the valves would be installed but did mention that “we are having a lot of problems with people not paying in Ollie and also Mt. Union.”
Since the last monthly meeting, Hudson said RUSS has installed a few shut-off valves in Ollie and also a couple in Argyle.
A look at RUSS’ aging report shows some $32,000 owed by Mt. Union residents in user fees is 60 days or more past due. Hudson said when you lengthen the period to 90 days or more past due, the amount climbs to approximately $40,000.
The October bills are due by Nov. 15, and Mt. Union customers owe a collective $8,452.41 for last month.
In his monthly report, Hudson said he will be having a meeting Monday, Nov. 14, with five communities who are negotiating with RUSS to operate and maintain their sewer systems. Talks have been ongoing for nearly a year now. He also said another community has approached RUSS about operating its wastewater system.
“I know I have been talking about his for a long time (operation and maintenance of the five sewer systems),” Hudson said, “but we are closer so that is encouraging.”
Hudson also reported that RUSS employee Greg Lemke recently attended a wastewater 101 class.
The board approved the purchase of a new four-wheel drive pickup from Shottenkirk in Mt. Pleasant for $24,950. Karl Chevrolet of the Des Moines area also submitted a bid of $25,448.03.
Hudson said that with more RUSS employees, another vehicle was needed.
“The budget is fine to pay for it,” he remarked. “We have not done many upgrades since I’ve been here. We have to spend some money and put it into play. If we are going to do wastewater work in all these other communities, we are going to have to travel there.”
RUSS board members also approved a credit card for Lemke. “I want to get him one in case he needs fuel. All bills come to me anyway and I have to sign off on them,” commented Hudson. “The RUSS credit card has just a $1,000 credit limit, so we usually have to make about three payments a month because we exceed the credit limit.”
Next meeting for the board will be Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m., in the Henry County Emergency Management building at 900 W. Washington St. in Mt. Pleasant.