19 de Mayo de 2015

Th e City of Rio Grande City commission meeting, held on Wednesday, May 13, featured the fi rst reading of Ordinance No. 2015-4 which would amend Chapter 16, Article 16, Section 16-205 to include the act of tampering with a water meter as an off ense. “Th is ordinance will amend the language that we have in our previous ordinance where the wording was kind of ambiguous to this point,” stated deputy city manager Elisa Beas. “Th is new amendment will include any type of damage, any tampering with the meters.”
Beas explains the move is to simplify the process of penalizing wrong doers. “Th ese past meter readings we had another rash of magnets [placed near water meters], and illegal tapping into water lines. Th is ordinance will simplify the process for the municipal court in order to asses a fi ne, and not have to go through further and higher action from a higher court.” “What is the water dept. doing when they fi nd magnets on these meters, are we locking the meters, removing the magnets, what are we doing [diff erently with this ordinance amendment]?,” asked
commissioner Rey Ramirez. “When a magnet is found, [it is photographed]. Th ey are removed, a police report is done, and the process starts for the due process of issuing a citation, and bringing them before municipal court,” answered Beas. “Th e meter is not removed, since they are paying some amount on the water bill, but we do go forward with municipal court action. Th e second part of
the ordinance 16-211 will give a tool to the municipal judge to fi ne [off enders up to] $500, on the fi rst off ense. If it continues, the meter is removed, and every incident is another citation and another case for a citation [up to] $500.” “Th is is the most comprehensive approach to tackling this [issue] with a more simplifi ed process,” added Beas. “We do have bonds and debt against this water utility department, and the ratings are based on that so we need to take care of it.”