Joe P. Asher
During a recent meeting of the Cumberland City Council, members approved a resolution aimed at securing funds for improving the city’s water system. President of Monarch Engineering David Bowles said the city is under an agreed order and a complaint has been filed.
“At some point in time they (the state) will actually come in and mandate that you do the things that are in the order,” said Bowles. “They don’t care how you get them done or what it costs. So, it’s beating the hammer before it actually falls. It may not come for two or three years — it’s not going to come tomorrow. As time goes on the situation only gets worse.”
Bowles said there is an “upside” to the city being under an agreed order.
“At the same time, what we’re looking at, from a funding standpoint,…is going to be strengthened by the fact that you are under that order,” said Bowles. “It’s like the state is saying we’re going to give you a chance to get started and get you some money, because we don’t want to punish you, but if you don’t do anything then we’ll punish you.”
City attorney Parker Boggs pointed out the city had previously asked for more time from the state in order to get something done about the city’s water situation.
“As you all know, I think it was two meetings ago, there was a penalty to be paid, and we said, ‘can you give us more time?’” said Boggs. “One of the things about giving you more time was to give you a chance to try to do something. Luckily, Mr. Bowles has worked on most of the issues that were subject to the lawsuit.”
Looking for some corrective action from the city, Bowles said the state asked for a revised corrective action plan.
“I think what they are looking for is this resolution, which is going to be part of the corrective action plan,” said Bowles. “I’m scheduled to talk to Mrs. Haas tomorrow and I’d hate to go back and say they didn’t do anything because that’s going to trigger an attitude with them.”
Council member Charles Raleigh expressed concern about repairs that have been completed thus far on the city’s water situation.
“It’s about all complete — except for the mapping,” responded Mayor Carl Hatfield. “That’s the major item right now.”
In conclusion, a final draft of the resolution was read by Boggs to council members.
“The city of Cumberland hereby orders to file an application with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for funding under the water and wastewater program for the fiscal year 2013,” read Boggs.
The resolution was passed with no oppositions from council members.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com