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Emergency calling service not renewed

Published June 24. 2011 05:00PM

Summit Hill Water Authority Chairperson Louis Alexander notified the board during the discussion of paying bills for the month that the office received the renewal for the emergency calling service that was contracted last year in case of a water main break that required emergency contact of the system's customers.

"I'm not going to be throwing money away. We have a procedure in place if there is an emergency and I don't see the need to pay this company instead," said Alexander to the board.

While no one spoke in favor of paying the renewal bill of about $500, Authority Engineer Mike Tirpak pointed out the system was contracted because of the effort required otherwise to notify customers.

"If there is a segment of the population that speaks a language other than English, we are required to notify them in their language. This phone service allowed us to make multilingual messages. "

Tirpak said he believed initially using a bullhorn and going street to street would be sufficient, but the regulations in Chapter 109 state that all customers must be personally contacted and their homes posted with the notice as well as someone being available to answer the questions about the notice in any language. Since there is no one employed with the authority that speaks another language, the service satisfied the requirement.

"We didn't use it last year and I just don't see us paying for this service when we already have an emergency procedure," Alexander responded.

The board made no motion to pay the bill so the matter was considered concluded and the service would not be renewed.

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