At its regular meeting on August 10, 2021, the Eutaw City Council approved a proposal from SERVLine to add an insurance of up to $500 for water leakages on the customer side of the meter. Eutaw water customers will be able to opt-out of this $1.75 a month charge on their water bills, if they do not want the coverage.
This insurance, which costs $1.75 per month ($21 per year), will be added to customer’s water bills, provides up to $500 if a leak develops on the customer’s side of the water meter, which is paid to cover the high water bills for water-loss in a leak. Some of the high utility bills incurred in the city have come from undiscovered and prolonged leaks.
The payment is subject to a deductible, based on the average water bill for the past twelve months. This means even if you have a water leak covered by the insurance, you will still have to pay your basic monthly bill and the insurance will help pay for the extra water used that was caused by the leak.
SERLine will send a letter to all City of Eutaw water customers informing them of the insurance program before the $1.75 charge is added to all of the water bills. Customers may opt-out of the insurance program, that is to say you must inform the City’s Water Department that you do not want to be covered by the insurance, during the initial three months of the coverage period and at specific designated times during the year.
Many City Council members expressed concerns that customers would not understand the additional $1.75 monthly insurance charge on their bills or that they can opt-out of the program if they do not want the coverage. Mayor Johnson assured the Council that all water customers would be informed of this insurance coverage and monthly charge by letter from the company and by an advisory printed on their bills.
The Council then voted unanimously for instituting this SERVLine water leak insurance program. This program will start soon, so look for your notice in the mail and your opportunity to opt-out, if you do not wish to pay for this additional insurance coverage.
The Eutaw City Council agreed to re-impose a mask mandate for the City of Eutaw requiring citizens to wear masks inside city businesses and in places where there are large numbers of people gathered together inside or outside. The city adopted this mandate until its first regular meeting on September 14, 2021.
The Council may extend the mask mandate at that point depending on the conditions of community spread of the coronavirus, especially the more contagious Delta variant, which is spreading throughout the state, primarily to unvaccinated people. The Mayor and Council urged all adults and children above the age of 12 to be vaccinated. Vaccination appointments may be made at the Greene County Health System, Mills Pharmacy and the Alabama Department of Public Health.
The mayor reported that the City of Eutaw had received a pallet of hand sanitizer, to be distributed to Greene County agencies, businesses and residents. The Black Belt Community Foundation informed the city of the availability of these free resources to combat the coronavirus pandemic and the city staff acted to secure these resources.
The mayor said a CPA in Tuscaloosa is preparing audits for the fiscal years 2018, 2019 and 2020, which will enable the city to seek grants and loans to acquire new equipment, such as a knuckle-boom truck to pick up
fallen trees and other trash on the side of the streets. The mayor said she has spoken with Waste Management, who said they were having difficulties in picking up garbage in the city on schedule because of a lack of personnel. The company improved garbage collections for several weeks but has fallen behind schedule again.
In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:
• Approved travel for Linda Spencer, Court Clerk and Antonio Pearson, Magistrate, to attend training.
• Approved Corey Martin, Water Operator to attend training in Ozark, Alabama.
• Approved amending the Personnel Handbook to allow part-time employees to apply for health insurance, after they complete the 90-day probationary period.
• Police Chief Tommy Johnson reported that Andrew Clements, a new officer had complete training at the Police Academy and was joining the city’s police force. He also announced that he was holding another coffee and donuts session at Branch Heights, on Thursday August 12, to talk with people about improving the policing of Eutaw.
• Approved payment of outstanding bills.