The Wallins City Commission discussed the problems at Monday's regular meeting. Mayor Freddie Burke said the Sawbriar trailer court, owned by Brenda Long, has been one of the city's major problem areas.
"We've lost a lot of water there," he said. "We've had a lot of damaged meter bases. ... We've replaced them three or four times where people's been moving in and out stealing water."
Burke said city clerk Joyce Shoemaker drafted a letter asking landlords who are served by city services to accept responsibility when their tenants damage city property, such as the meter bases. He added that a copy was sent to Long, but she had not returned it to city hall.
"I have had one landlord sign this, and he was glad to sign it," said Shoemaker. "I've had other landlords that have just recently purchased property in Wallins that are more than willing to sign this. It simply states that if their renters do damage to city property, they [the landlords] are responsible for it."
"The problem we got right now," said Burke, "is on one of the trailers up there, Brenda Day wants to move in one of them I don't know if she's paid her rent or what but we can't turn that water on until we make a decision on what we're going to do with it. Somebody's going to have to stand responsible for the damages. If the property owner don't claim the meter, what are we going to do with it?"
Burke explained that there are four trailers in the court, and the city has consistently had problems with two of the four. He said tenants have moved in and out of those two trailers without notifying the city.
Burke said replacing the meters costs over $100 plus the cost of labor.
The commission voted to remove the meters if Long doesn't agree to sign the letter accepting responsibility for damage to the meters.
In other business, the commission voted to raise water rates for the area from Daniels Mountain to Molus by 50 percent.