The Lynch City Council passed a policy Monday that gives water customers one month to get water leaks fixed and sets their bill for the month at the same amount as the month before. If the leak is not fixed after a month, customers will pay for all of the water used.
The change will only apply to customers and their leaks after the vote; it will not affect any charges prior to the decision.
Before this, the city charged customers for all water wasted as a result of a water leak or broken line and flat-rated their sewer bill for that month. Before this, customers generally had to pay for the water, even if a line break happened because of something at the water plant, including when an extremely high water pressure recently broke several lines.
"At least four customers had to replace lines from the meter to their house," said Mayor Tom Vicini.
Under the new policy, customers will get a one-month reprieve regardless of who is responsible for the leak.
The policy passed unanimously.
In other business, the council:
n Closed the remainder of the contract for building sidewalks in Lynch. Funding for the completion of the project is uncertain and it could be a year before it comes through.
Vicini said that it didn't make sense to keep the contract open because prices would change and it would have to be rebid.
n Announced that two grants have been awarded to the city, a PRIDE grant that will go in part for bear-proof trash cans and a $500 community development grant that will go toward work on Lynch's planned walking trail.
n Heard a report from Main Street Director Elizabeth Powell, who said that the Business Recruitment Package for the Tri-Cities has been completed.
The publication includes an introduction to the region, demographic and market analysis and photos from the three cities.
Fifty copies of the report will be made and distributed to the three mayors and any businesses interested in locating in the Tri-Cities.