Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

RUSS directors will meet mornings

Aug 10, 2017

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


Directors of the Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) spent longer Wednesday deciding on a meeting time than they did on any other item of business on the monthly meeting’s scant agenda.

When it was all said and done, board members will be trading their soda bottles for coffee cups as most meetings now will be at 10 a.m., rather than 1 p.m. at the Henry County Emergency Management Building.

Discussion about moving the meeting time to mornings first surfaced during the July meeting. Due to conflicts of some directors, the July meeting was at 9 a.m. in the morning and board consensus was that morning meetings were better because after the meeting, board members had the remainder of the day to do other things rather than having a 1 p.m. meeting interrupt the afternoon.

The meeting time however does conflict with the quarterly meetings of the 8th District Judiciary Review Committee which includes four RUSS board members. The quarterly meetings are on the second Wednesday of the last month of each quarter in the morning. On those dates, the RUSS board will meet at 1 p.m., the current board meeting time.

Board members asked if moving the meetings back a week in the month would help, but Bruce Hudson, RUSS executive director, said he would prefer to keep the meeting during the second week of the month.

“I don’t want to get it too far back in the month because of the bills,” he said.

Daryl “Deke” Wood, board chairman from Keokuk County, said that when he first became a board member, the meeting was the first week of the month which was not good, either. “The problem with meeting the first Wednesday is that sometimes it fell on the first or second day of the month.”

Jim Cary of Des Moines County asked about moving the meeting back to the third week of the month. Hudson said the third week would be too late in the month.

Hudson suggested, if the board wanted to meet in the morning, to have the meeting at 11 a.m. or 11:30 a.m., noting that office staff like to have time in the morning to handle paperwork.

Van Buren County Supervisor Bob Waugh said moving the meeting to that late in the morning would not be that much different from having it at its current 1 p.m. time.

Wood said if the meetings were moved to the morning, he wouldn’t want to meet any earlier than 10 a.m. because he has an hour drive from Sigourney to Mt. Pleasant.

Board members finally decided to meet at 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of the month and 1 p.m. during the months in which the judiciary review committee meets.

Hudson, in his report, said RUSS’s plan to work with customers who have delinquent bills is working.

Ten letters were sent to Ollie residents owing money and nine have paid the delinquent amount, he noted. Ten Argyle residents also received letters. Eight have satisfied their bill, Hudson said, one is being taken to small-claims court and another will have a shut-off valve installed Thursday. The executive director said he will have law enforcement present when the shut-off valve is being installed “because the contractor and operator have had run-ins with a family member.”

In Pleasant Plain, four letters were sent. Three residents have been paid and one shut-off valve was installed.

“The process is working,” Hudson stated. “It is just a little slower (than we would like).”

The RUSS truck used to pump out septic tanks is up and running, the RUSS official said. He passed out flyers to board members, asking the board to have them displayed in their respective courthouse.

“If people have holding tanks, we have to let them know we are in business (of pumping out tanks),” Hudson commented. He said the truck will be used to pump out RUSS’ 100 septic tanks it either owns or operates but hopes that the service will extend to others with tanks.

“The more business we do, the less expense it is to each county,” he said.

RUSS board members meet again in regular session Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. at the Henry County Emergency Management Building.


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