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Utility district defends actions regarding Atwood Shores

 

The LaGrange County Regional Utility District faced more questions from All American RV owner Brian Schaper over the billing for Atwood Shores Campground at their Wednesday evening meeting.

Schaper went before the board in December to request credit for being billed for five mobile homes that are at the camp-ground. The campground is billed on a meter rate, but because the mobile homes have been used as residences, the district also assesses a single residence fee of $68 per home, noting that properties that are used for multiple purposes are billed for those uses separately. The same billing principle would apply to a home-based office or business, district legal counsel John Gastineau said in December. A property with a home business would be billed for both the single family rate as well as a business user fee.

Schaper contended that, since the flow of wastewater from the mobile homes also goes through the meter, he is being billed twice for the same amount of wastewater. “I feel I’m being squarely double billed,” Schaper said Wednesday.

Schaper asked if his bill could be broken down to show just the residential services. He also asked if he had five grinder pumps – one for each mobile home – and was told that the district does not provide each home with an individual grinder pump.

Gastineau pointed out that in 2010, the board discussed the mobile homes with Schaper and “you led us to believe it would be used only as a campground.” Once the district discovered the mobile homes were being used, the district told him that they would bill the property for two uses – campground and residential, in May 2010.

Schaper asked the board if the campground could receive a 25,000 gallon credit each month – 5,000 gallons for each mobile home – on its metered rate.

Board President Mike Sutter told Schaper that he was asking the board to “change the rules now” after the previous decision made in May 2010.

Gastineau reiterated that, to terminate the residential billing, the district’s ordinance sets out the steps Schaper must take. “If you follow those procedures, billing will be terminated,” Gastineau concluded.

In other business:

The district board opened bids for a new aeration ditch in Region B. It received three general contract bids and one electrical bid.

General bids were received from:

LD Dosca and Associates – $162,500

RE Crosby Inc. – $159,600

Mason Engineering and Construction – $127,700

The electrical bid was from Phil Rorick Electrical for $21,400.

The bids were taken under advisement, with a recommendation expected at the February board meeting.