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City sets meeting on water deposit

The Water and Sewer Committee of the Havre City Council will take up a proposal to require the city to collect a water deposit from renters to reduce landlords' liability for unpaid water bills.

The meeting will be held Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, said Dana West, chair of the Water and Sewer Committee.

Committee member Allen "Woody" Woodwick proposed the deposit in July after a few local landlords complained that they had been stuck with water bills by tenants who wasted water or left without paying their bills. An ordinance on the books since 1997 makes landlords ultimately responsible for the water bill for rentals.

At that time, Woodwick told the committee an existing provision in the city's water billing ordinance would allow the city to collect a water deposit from renters.

The matter was sent to City Attorney Jim Kaze, and the committee has been waiting for Kaze's recommendation to proceed.

West said today that Kaze is drawing up an ordinance for the committee, but that she doesn't know if it's done yet or not. It will be done in time for the meeting, she said.

West said she does not know what Kaze's recommendation to the committee will be.

The committee will also consider at that meeting whether to raise the city's fee to reconnect terminated water service from $15 to $30.


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