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The Bedford City Commission voted Monday, Feb. 17, to start sending a sewer bill to the Bedford Fire Department.
Commissioner Darrell Harmon had reported during the government body’s January meeting that the department does not pay for sewer or garbage. Harmon said the Kentucky Public Service Commission advised the city several years ago that everyone, including the Morgan Community Center, should be charged for sewer service.
“A few years ago we had a lady from the state came down and we wasn’t sending ourselves a sewer bill,” Harmon said. “I don’t know if it’s a state statute or what but if you have city water and the sewer goes by your house you’ve got to pay a sewer bill.”
The commissioners voted 3-1 to start sending a sewer bill to the fire department. Commissioner Todd Pollock was opposed.
City Attorney Genon Hensley suggested the city increase their donation to the fire department to cover the expense of the sewer bill.
Discussion ensued that the city already makes a $12,000 annual donation to the fire company. No action was taken.
Harmon also stated that there are local residents who may not currently have water service who are using the city’s sewer system without paying.
“I think if people are living in a home and their water is shut off, I think they ought to be paying a sewer bill the same as anyone,” Harmon said, “because there are people drawing water out of an old cistern or having water hauled in and are using our sewer system without their water turned on.”
Hensley suggested charging a minimum sewer bill to residents whose water is turned off.
Commissioner Pollock said he wants a list of the alleged offenders and he will go house to house to meet with each one. “I want a face to face conversation with them and I’ll report back at the next meeting,” he said.
“We have no way of shutting the sewer off. I don’t know what we can do,” Mayor Russell Clifton said. “It’s a certain type of people that I don’t care what you do them they’re not going to stop. They’re not in the same league that we’re in. Bedford is full of them.”
Clifton said the issue will be placed on the March agenda for further discussion.
In other business Commissioner Frank Floyd said a number of local residents are not using the cans that have been provided for their use. City Clerk Rita Davis has sent letters to residents reminding them to use the cans.
“We have a constable and he’s supposed to go enforce these ordinances,” Clifton said, rather than continue sending letters. “We’re paying this person and we ought to utilize him.”
Floyd also has received complaints that people have been hanging out at the Bedford Cemetery. He suggested putting up a gate that would be closed at night to keep vehicles out. The commission voted to get prices.
Commissioner Harold Greene asked the people of the city of Bedford to have patience with regard to keeping streets clear during snow and ice.
“We’ll continue to clean the streets of snow and ice but we’re limited on salt,” he said. “Right now we can’t get salt.”
Carla Kidwell also contributed to this story.