- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
By CHARLES RICHARDS
City manager John Godwin said the Paris City Council will hear the concern by Roger and Sharon Stripland of 3420 Clement Road that they should get a break from the city on their monthly sewer charges.
Originally, it was to be heard Monday night, but Godwin said Friday that the agenda item is being pushed back until probably July 23, when the full council can be present.
Mayor AJ Hashmi is out of the city and won’t be at Monday’s council meeting.
For several months, the city has been trying to solve flooding problems of the Striplands, a close neighbor to District 4 councilman Dr. Richard Grossnickle. The Striplands have the first house on Clement Road after 34th Street bends east toward the Brownwood Addition on its way to FM 195.
Mayor AJ Hashmi expressed concern after the flooding problems persisted month after month, saying Stripland is a taxpayer and deserves to have the problem fixed.
But this is about a different matter.
Attorney Bill Flanary appeared on the Striplands’ behalf during citizens’ input at the June 11 meeting of the council.
Godwin said the Striplands feel they should pay a smaller sewer services bill because, unlike other residents, they paid for their water pump, they paid for their water lines, and they paid for the installation.
What the Striplands are not saying, city officials say, is that they and a few other families tied onto the city’s sewer system illegally more than 10 years ago.
The Striplands and others accepted a refund when the city thought the residents were paying for a service that wasn’t being provided, says finance director Gene Anderson, who was acting city manager when the illegal tie-in was discovered four months ago..
Flanary told the council on June 11 that the Striplands, “and I believe all of the other homeowners affected,” want to pay a fair amount for the city’s facilities.
“But they do not feel it is equitable — by having provided for themselves in large part a service that the city should have been providing – that they now pay the full amount, which on the face of the bills that they have received, really seems to be just an arbitrary amount of sewer charges,” the attorney added.
“They admit that you are processing their waste water, but they have paid for the pump and paid for the lines and installation of the lines,” Flanary said.
Three years ago, in June of 2009, the City of Paris — under the impression that the Striplands and some neighbors were paying for services that weren’t being provided — refunded the sewer fees and stopped billing them for sewer services.
The free use of the bootlegged city sewer services continued until four months ago, when the city discovered that the Striplands were connected onto the city sewer services illegally and had been for years.
On March 2, after the discovery was made, the city billed the Striplands retroactively back to January of this year, “and they’re all now being billed an identical amount for sewer services — $31.36 a month,” Flanary said. He suggested $25 a month would be fairer.
send comments about this article to