Council addresses sewage connection
*Mayor Karen McDuffie was absent from the meeting.
ANDERSON – Anderson Town Council took no action on an unauthorized connection to the city sewer.
Anderson Town Clerk, Pam Johnson, stated “the new county building [Grimes County Justice Center] and the Animal Rescue Center [Grimes County Animal Rescue] were both connected to the sewer with an application or payment.” Johnson said it wasn’t discovered that the Justice Center was hooked to the sewer for about a year and that fee hasn’t been paid by the county year. “They are paying the sewer bill, but they haven’t paid the sewer connection fee,” explained Johnson. “The Animal Rescue was already hooked up before Anderson Water found out about it, so that is how all this came about.”
Agenda item 5 is a request from Grimes County Judge Joe Fauth to waive or reduce the sewer connection fee at the Animal Rescue Center. “The fee in question [GCARC] is $1,000,” said Johnson. The fee owed from the County for connection of the Justice Center is $300. Johnson said when she spoke with Fauth he stated he is submitting the $300 for payment but was requesting the $1,000 fee be waived because GCARC is a nonprofi t.
Council discussed whether to waive or lower the fee with some members torn between the decision. “I’m mixed on this one to be honest with you,” said councilmember Daryl Alford.
“I’m torn, they’re a nonprofit and they are going to provide a service to the town,” explained councilmember Kason Menges. Councilmember Harold Minor stated his concern, “what if the system wasn’t able to handle the [sewer] connection? That would be a bigger problem for the city.”
Alford said, “if y’all want to waive half of the $1,000 I would probably be good with it, but that is about the limit. But still, when are we going to get paid?” Councilmember Marc Benton asked whether the county or GCARC would be responsible for paying the fee? Johnson said she was not sure.
A representative from the county or GCAR were not present to speak on the items. Council voted to table the item until a meeting could be scheduled with the county.
Kason Menges recused himself from agenda item 6, a three-part item, which includes a personal request from he and his family involving Pecan Street.
In the December 2022 meeting, Menges asked that the city relinquish or sale a portion of Pecan Street that dead ends into his property. He stated in the original meeting it would allow his family to build a driveway and install a gate.
During the December meeting, council approved the installation of a “No Outlet” sign to be installed at the entrance of Pecan Street and asked for the Menges family to provide documentation showing ownership of Pecan Street.
A letter submitted by Richard Seamans was read by Mayor Karen McDuffie in the December meeting.
Menges stated Mr. Seamans accused his family of illegally taking ownership of property that didn’t belong to the Menges family. In 6A of the agenda Menges said the statement is untrue and requested council provide a public statement stating “the Menges family in no way illegally took over town property as previously stated in a publicly read letter by Robert Seamans in the December meeting.”
During the January meeting Menges presented a survey of the property, and other documents to council. Council members stated they were not in a position to make a public statement because allegations in the letter were those of Richard Seamans, not of council. Alford said it is evident with documentation presented that property was not illegally taken. No action was taken on 6A.
Item 6B was a request for a “No Outlet/ Dead End” sign to be installed. No action was taken because the request was approved in the December meeting. Item 6C, a request for the Town of Anderson to abandon a portion of unused right-of-way consisting of a portion of Pecan Street was tabled to allow council to meet with their attorney.
Johnson stated a permit was filed for the demolition of the historic red hotel building on Main Street in Anderson pending asbestos testing.
The next council meeting is slated for Feb. 9.