Council approves utility policy adjustment

Published 6:55 pm Friday, July 22, 2022

Farmville Town Council approved amendments to the town’s utility adjustment policy at its monthly meeting Wednesday, July 13.

This decision to adopt Resolution 2022-07-02 followed a discussion held at council’s work session on Wednesday, July 6. The hope is that changes to this policy will make future adjustments sought by Farmville residents a cleaner and smoother process.

“You’ve seen our previous utility adjustment policy. It was about three or four sentences,” said Town Manager Dr. Scott Davis when introducing the changes at the work session. “Not that that’s bad, but we’ve had over the last few years, and most recently, some utility adjustments so this kind of cleans up how we process that.”

Changes to the policy include the adjustment being made only if the bill is at least 150% of the average usage on the account. The change will now allow these to be processed by staff, instead of coming to council for appeals and adjustment incidents that go over multiple billing cycles together instead of individually.

According to Julie Moore, Farmville’s finance director, the new process will also require more from the citizen’s side. Those seeking adjustments will need to submit a form, pictures of the damage and an invoice from the plumber who fixed the issue.

“This way it puts some responsibility back on the citizens that if you want this adjustment then you have to do some steps as well,” Moore said at the work session.

This will provide a stronger structure for those who need adjustments to get the help they need.

In other business:

• Town council voted to allow the town manager to sign a legal representation letter for charter change. This will allow Davis to represent the Town of Farmville in the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

• Council approved the request for a utility adjustment for Rashah Alkim. Alkim approached the town in May about a toilet leak that caused it to constantly run in a house he rents out. Alkim had the problem fixed the same day the tenants notified him, but it still caused an impact on his monthly bill.

• Council adopted Resolution 2022-07-03 Mary Branch – Industrial Revitalization Fund Grant. The Mary E. Branch Community Center nonprofit, at 632 S. Main St., Farmville, is seeking a grant to renovate the community center to be a community workspace, rental space and a place to mentor and tutor students.

• The next set of council meeting dates through December were approved with all meetings on Wednesdays — Aug. 10, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9 and Dec. 14.

• Vice-Mayor A.D. “Chuckie” Reid was voted to continue serving the next six months as vice-mayor/president of council. This is usually voted for every two years, however, in January Reid will have to be voted on again as verbiage and terms of office will change in January.

• Farmville Police Chief Andy Ellington reminded everyone of National Night Out from 5 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 2 with one event at Riverside Park and a second from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 12 at Parkview Gardens.

• Davis gave an update on the lighting situation on Jesses Way. After talking to Creative Electrical Contractors (CEC), there will need to be three additional lights in that area in addition to the two that are there now. Davis will talk to CEC and come back with a cost estimate for the three lights.