The City of Baxter has implemented a $300 fee for tampered water and sewage meters.
Mayor John Martin said the previous $100 fee didn’t cover the cost for repairs.
“When their water is shut off, they (residents) think it’s OK to just go ahead and break the lock and damage the meter,” Martin said. “I think people feel like the $100 is just incidental. So our water superintendent and our board made the decision to go ahead and raise it. That’s plus damages because when they damage the head and you have to replace the meters, that’s pretty expensive.”
The new tampering fee, $50 reconnect fee, and cost for damages could mean a $500 payment for residents. Martin said the city felt like they needed to set a precedent.
“Every utility virtually has the same problem,” Martin said. “But it’s just got expensive and kindly out of hand.”
The board of aldermen unanimously approved the increased tampering fee during last week’s meeting.