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|Town to purchase railroad property|
Mayor Gene Allen told the Ferriday Town Council Tuesday night that the town is nearing an agreement to purchase property owned by Missouri-Pacific Railroad.
The town has been attempting to buy the property for several years.
"We are just waiting on them to sign the papers," Allen said, adding he will release the amount the town is paying after the deal is completed.
The 21.5-acre property is located adjacent to the Will Haney Music Hall.
"We are going to put an open arena there that will also be covered for people to hold events and also for recreational purposes," Allen said.
Also during the Council's regular meeting Tuesday, Glen Womack of JCP of Harrisonburg answered questions from alderman and town citizens concerning their water bills, which are higher than in the past.
Womack said that due to lost, broken or missing water meters, most residents have been paying a flat rate of $54.99, which Womack said was established as a benchmark.
The flat rate for water is $23.30 for residents, but the bill additionally includes fees for garbage pick-up and sewer.
One resident said her bill went from $54 to $136.
"I've got three houses tied into my water meter," she said. "I received a cut-off notice."
Womack said those kind of problems need to be registered as a complaint and they will be investigated.
"No one will be cut off while they are being investigated," he said. "But people have to let us know."
Womack said his company is re-reading meters to insure accuracy.
"There may have been a '6' that was written down as a '9' or a '3' that was written down as a '5'," he said. "A lot of time when we get there a meter will be spinning, which means there's a leak somewhere, either from a faucet or commode."
When asked why there had to be a third party -- or water system manager -- grant writer Teresa Dennis explained that the USDA required a third party for the town to qualify for the $5 million grant and $1.4 million loan for the water wells.
Allen said the new meters should be put in during the next six months.
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