Water fight could lead to dry city - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Water fight could lead to dry city

By Carly O'Keefe - bio | email

SESSER, IL (KFVS) - There's a water fight bubbling up between the City of Sesser and the Rend Lake Conservancy District.

Since July 2009, the city has been withholding thousands of dollars every month. Now with penalty fees Sesser is currently $116,633.00 past due.

Sesser Mayor Ned Mitchell believes a faulty meter caused his city to pay too much for its water for at least five years.

"I think we're around $130,000 that we feel we can prove we were overcharged," Mayor Mitchell said.

The Rend Lake Conservancy District disagrees.

"There was a meter test done in 2005 that showed the meter was accurate, there was another test in 2007 that showed it was accurate," said Keith Thomason, the general manager of the Rend Lake Conservancy District. "In 2008, the meter was found to be inaccurate, and at that point we replaced the meter, but the city does not accept the previous accurate tests."

But until the city recoup's the $130,000 it sees as a loss, Mayor Mitchell says it won't pay its bill in full.

"We're withholding $5,000 off our total bill every month," said Mitchell.

But Thomason says the town's water won't be on long enough for the city to withhold any more.

"Thirty Days from (Tuesday) will be the last day," said Thomason.

The water fight has already boiled into a legal battle. Sesser sued Rend Lake Conservancy, and Rend Lake counter-sued. But it could take years for the court to decide who's in the right.

In the meantime, Thomason says he has a simple solution.

"We've asked them to put that money in escrow, so the money will be there when the court rules on the issue," said Thomason. "The worst case would be if the citizens have been paying their bill to the city all this time and found out that their money wasn't there when the courts ruled. So we want to make sure that money is there."

The mayor says the money is there, but will stay in city hall. He says the money won't go into an escrow account.

"We pay our bills here, but we don't want to be taken advantage of either," said Mitchell. "The bottom line is they're not shutting the water off in Sesser."

Thomason says if Sesser puts that money in escrow - the water will stay on. But, he says if that's not done by April 15 and the bill is still not paid, Sesser will go dry.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • 2 injured in two-vehicle crash on I-24 in Massac County, IL

    2 injured in two-vehicle crash on I-24 in Massac County, IL

    Saturday, August 18 2018 10:54 PM EDT2018-08-19 02:54:05 GMT
    Two injured in a crash on I-24. (Source: Raycom Media)Two injured in a crash on I-24. (Source: Raycom Media)
    Two injured in a crash on I-24. (Source: Raycom Media)Two injured in a crash on I-24. (Source: Raycom Media)
    A two-vehicle crash sent two to the hospital on Aug. 18. According to ISP, Paul Price, 46, was driving on I-24 when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed the median eventually hitting a semi truck driven by Courtney Baxter, 43. Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android Price and his passenger Thomas Griffey, 38, were taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. Baxter refuse treatment at the scene. Price was charged with Too Fast For Condi...
    A two-vehicle crash sent two to the hospital on Aug. 18. According to ISP, Paul Price, 46, was driving on I-24 when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed the median eventually hitting a semi truck driven by Courtney Baxter, 43. Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android Price and his passenger Thomas Griffey, 38, were taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment. Baxter refuse treatment at the scene. Price was charged with Too Fast For Condi...
  • All lane back open after crash on Highway B in Perry County, MO

    All lane back open after crash on Highway B in Perry County, MO

    Saturday, August 18 2018 10:22 PM EDT2018-08-19 02:22:58 GMT
    A crash has blocked both lanes of Highway B in Perry County, Mo. (Source: Raycom Media)A crash has blocked both lanes of Highway B in Perry County, Mo. (Source: Raycom Media)

    Traffic has been blocked after a crash in Perry County, Mo. on Aug. 18. Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android According to Perry County, MO Sheriff's Department, a crash has blocked both lanes of Highway B in Perry County, Mo. We will continue to update this story. Copyright 2018 KFVS. All rights reserved

    Traffic has been blocked after a crash in Perry County, Mo. on Aug. 18. Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android According to Perry County, MO Sheriff's Department, a crash has blocked both lanes of Highway B in Perry County, Mo. We will continue to update this story. Copyright 2018 KFVS. All rights reserved

  • Union County Fair celebrates 138 years

    Union County Fair celebrates 138 years

    Saturday, August 18 2018 10:11 PM EDT2018-08-19 02:11:17 GMT
    Union County Fair celebrates 138 years. (Source: KFVS)Union County Fair celebrates 138 years. (Source: KFVS)
    Union County Fair celebrates 138 years. (Source: KFVS)Union County Fair celebrates 138 years. (Source: KFVS)
    This year marks the 138th anniversary of the Union County Fair. The fair is host to many events for the week. The Queen Pageant is Aug. 19, with the concerts, a rodeo and even the demolition derby.  Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android Some of the attendees share their experiences.  "It's just tradition. I grew up as a kid in this town and I've never missed the county fair. I've never missed one ever I don't guess," said Mike Meisenh...
    This year marks the 138th anniversary of the Union County Fair. The fair is host to many events for the week. The Queen Pageant is Aug. 19, with the concerts, a rodeo and even the demolition derby.  Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android Some of the attendees share their experiences.  "It's just tradition. I grew up as a kid in this town and I've never missed the county fair. I've never missed one ever I don't guess," said Mike Meisenh...
Powered by Frankly