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Waynesville councilwoman demands openness from Sewer District

WAYNESVIILLE, Mo. (Dec. 19, 2008) — Councilwoman Twyla Cordry told fellow members of the Waynesville City Council Thursday night that she’s not happy with the way Pulaski County Sewer District members are handling an ongoing dispute with the city.

“We need to keep this as public as possible and get with the program,” Cordry said. “I know that the sewer district in the past has had a real problem with trying to keep everything secret, secret, secret. These issues do not have to be secret and they need to be public for the users of the Hunter’s Point area up there. I’m afraid that they are really going to be seeing some extremely high bills if we don’t get this situation straightened out.”

Cordry, a former sewer board member, asked Waynesville officials to keep the sewer district discussion public even if the sewer board members don’t want to discuss their problems in public.

“I see that Mayor (Cliff) Hammock would like to visit with (Bob) Simpson from the Pulaski County Sewer District but he couldn’t visit with us because he didn’t have permission from his board,” Cordry said. “They had their meeting on Tuesday. Have you had a call that says he’s got permission to talk with you yet? Do you expect one?”

Earlier in the meeting, Waynesville Councilwoman Diana Stanford, who chairs the Waynesville Utility Committee, said city staff members have installed a sewer flow meter on the main trunk line coming out of the Hunter’s Point subdivision to evaluate inflow and infiltration issues.

Customers in the Hunter’s Point residential subdivision south of Waynesville are customers of the sewer district, which collects their sewage via sewer district lines but pumps it to the Waynesville city sewage plant for treatment. The city and the sewer district have disagreed on how many homes are on the sewer lines in Hunter’s Point and the new flow meters will be able to monitor how much sewage is actually entering Waynesville’s treatment plant from that source, as well as how much rainwater and other liquids are infiltrating the sewage system.

Cordry asked Councilman Mike France what the results of the flow meters show.

“They didn’t give us any feedback on those yet; they just got them installed,” France replied.

Cordry didn’t like that answer.

“How long are we expecting on feedback time? Is it two weeks? Three weeks? Are we going to sit and let this stalemate again or are we going to keep on with our project of getting this situation straightened out?” Cordry asked.

Hammock tried to end the discussion and move it to closed session.

“In closed session I need to give you the status of the meeting I had this morning on this. I think that will indicate the way ahead, a strategy,” Hammock said.

Cordry wasn’t so sure.

“I’m going to go back and say what I said a couple of months ago. I want this to be very public, I want it to be very open, and I don’t want anyone to think that we’re trying to do anything on the side in any way wrong,” Cordry said. “I think we need some cooperation out of the sewer district.”

Waynesville also is having its own sewer problems. Stanford said the city’s sewer plant had a clarifier and a rotor go out, and City Administrator Bruce Harrill thanked St. Robert workers for helping Waynesville deal with some of its own sewer issues.

“We had our pumps fail inopportunely Friday evening right around 4:30 p.m. and they helped us out with some pumps over the weekend until we could get some temporary repairs in, so I appreciate their support,” Harrill said.

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