The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

July 23, 2013

Centerville sees water receipts rise

(Continued)

The Waterworks purchased 217,857,000 gallons of water from RRWA for a total cost of $405,740 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.

For the year ending June 30, 2012 the Waterworks paid the city of Centerville $52,250 for commissioner and administration services.

In fiscal year 2013 the Waterworks received approximately $209,000 from a class action lawsuit. The audit states the Waterworks plans to use the money for major capital projects.

The audit uncovered several situations Waterworks personnel were unable to explain.

One was sewer fees the Waterworks bills and collects for the city. The sewer rates billed by the Waterworks were different than the sewer rates established by the city.

Another unexplainable situation, according to the audit, was billed water rates were different than the water rates approved by the Board of Trustees.

The audit found insufficient evidence the Waterworks collection of water, sewer, storm water and sale taxes were allocated to the proper categories.

The audit found the Waterworks provided free water and sewer service to some non-profits, which violates Iowa code. The code says an utility “may not provide use or service at a discriminatory rate, except to the City or it(s) agencies.”

The audit found the Waterworks may not be properly computing water usage in the billing system. The monthly bill for the city’s largest grocery store was approximately the same as for a family of four.

“It would appear that the largest grocery store in the City would use more water than an average family of four,” states the audit.

The audit found three of the five water board members’ terms expire on the same date, which is not compliant with state code. The code requires board members serve staggered six year terms.

The audit found the Waterworks was billed for approximately 25 percent more water than users showed using during fiscal year 2012. The audit says the variance in billing month to month varied from negative 79 percent to 121 percent.

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