Mentone Town Council Gets Tough On Past Due Water Bills

MENTONE – Mentone Town Council approved a motion for a household’s water to be turned off once they are two months behind in payment, effective Wednesday, March 2.

Utility bills have a due date of the 15th of every month. The Council approved a motion to have water turned off on the 16th after the second month past due. If the 16th falls on a weekend, water will be turned off the following Monday.

In order for water to be turned back on, the full past due amount must be paid, as well as the $35 fee to reconnect the water. Water will only be turned on during work hours of the Utilities Department, which is 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The discussion on when to turn off someone’s water and the process to do so came up after three residents had their water turned off recently. There was an issue with one of residents since that person had just paid his bill.

Clerk-Treasurer Nikki Norris brought in an example of a utility bill for the Council to see. Council President Jill Gross said if the account is past due, the bill shows the total dollar amount due.

How to let people know of when their water is going to be turned off was discussed.

Utilities Superintendent Josh Shepherd said the utilities department used to put green door hangers on people’s doors that are about to have their water turned off. He said the “green tags” were done out of “the kindness of our hearts” to let people know, as they didn’t have to put that notice on people’s doors. Shepherd said he quit doing that for a while.

Shepherd said disconnect letters also used to be put out. Councilwoman Shelly Krueger said with the disconnect letters, the town would have to guarantee the letter would be sent out and delivered on time. Councilman Tim Croy said with postal service, they couldn’t guarantee that, giving an example of a piece of mail he received from another Mentone resident a week and a half after it was mailed.

It was suggested Wednesday that a disconnect notice be put on the person’s bill. However, Norris said something like that can’t be done on one individual bill.

It was decided it would be simplest to set a cut-off time of when people can expect to   have their water turned off after being past due.

In other business, the Council:

• Learned the Mentone Youth League plans to open its baseball and softball season the weekend of May 6-7. In a letter to the Council, Derek Adamson, from the League, said there are already 160 kids from ages 3 to 13 registered.

The letter also stated the League is planning on hosting its annual baseball tournament during the Egg Festival weekend and host a portion of the Town & Country state tournament. The league would like to have an opening day parade May 7 starting at 9 a.m.

Town Marshal Jim Eads said the parade time will work with him.

The route the league took last year started at Mentone Elementary School, came up Jackson Street to Tucker Street and came to Main Street and then went to Morgan Street.

• Learned Norris has a new email address:

• Heard from Eads he is still in the hiring process of a deputy marshal. He requested an executive session be set for the Council to talk to candidates between Wednesday and the April meeting. An executive session was set for 6:30 p.m. March 9.

Eads also said he and  Shepherd are going to get started on setting up the town’s new speed limit signs. They are going to find places to put the signs and then contact the Indiana Department of Transportation.

• Learned cemetery clean-up is April 1.

• Learned anyone who wants to put out household items like mattresses needs to contact APEX in order for that item to be taken care of. Eads said it will save the person from getting an ordinance violation.