At the February 11 Skidmore City Council meeting, discussion was held on changing the water and sewer ordinances to require all people residing within the Skidmore city limits to have city water and sewer service.

The city combines water, sewer and trash service fees on the city billing. Several individuals who don’t have water service have been running water hoses from neighbors or carrying in water and have been using the trash service without paying for it. It is unknown what these people have been doing with their sewer waste as homes without water are not hooked up to the Skidmore sewer lines.

The ordinance will read “The owner or occupant of any house, building or property used for human employment, recreation, habitation or other purposes situated within the city of Skidmore shall be required to connect into the city’s water and sewer system.

“It shall be unlawful for any person to occupy, use or otherwise live in any home, mobile home, apartment or other residential structure within the city limits, which is not being serviced by the city water supply system with two weeks of occupancy.”

The penalty is already in the existing ordinance with up to $500 and/or 90 days in jail for each offense. City Clerk Meagan Morrow will type up the revised ordinance, post public notices and the city council will review and vote at the March 11 meeting.

A change was made in Skidmore’s water – sewer shut-off policy, which the council approved. It reads “If the shut-off goes delinquent the entire month following the shut-off notices, all services will be discontinued, account will be closed with any deposits applied and the customer will be required to pay a new deposit and all monies due to be reinstated.”

The city has received no applicants for the full-time maintenance person position. The council will be looking at expanding its People Services contract at the March 11 meeting if the city is unable to fill the position.

City Attorney Miles Figg gave an update. He is going to review the citations and wants someone to verify the ordinance violation before the Wednesday, March 17 Municipal Law Day. He said the city could add new citations to the list.

Brock Pfost with BP Meters is going to set up a trial run of four water meters in the city. The company is going to put in some brass meters and some composite material meters. The council’s concern about freezing damage to the meters was addressed. Pfost said the damage was caused to the meter’s electronics. If the pit is built correctly and the lid sealed; the water meters shouldn’t freeze and the lid can stay on to read the meters with the cellular system.

While installing the four meters, the workers will make an inventory of the water pits. Pfost said the city staff needs to review the financial situation with the new water meters and not forced to raise the water rates.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) has allowed Skidmore to install a food pantry in city hall that will be open 1 to 3 pm, Monday, March 1, and 4 to 6 pm, Tuesday, March 2.

The council also asked for volunteers with the following projects: finish installing the street signs, flush the street tubes and the hydrants, lubricate the hydrants, place new tables and benches in the Skidmore Wildcat City Park, drain the tanks at the sewer plant, put the waste wagon in the garage and other maintenance projects. The sign-up list is at city hall.

Mayor Sandy Wright also called for project grant ideas needed to improve Skidmore.