Cumberland owes thousands in penalty fees for water issues

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

Water problems continue in the City of Cumberland.

They now owe the state thousands of dollars in penalty fees for not repairing the water plant fast enough.

The city has until July 13th to figure out what to do.

"We have not acted fast enough to correct the problems that we have. So they advised us by the 13th of July, we need to get all the problems in the water plant repaired," said Cumberland Mayor Carl Hatfield.

Plus the city will have to pay a $10,000 fine on top of that.

"Coming down all at once on us like this has really put a burden on our finances," said Mayor Hatfield.

The state did give the city three options: The first is to pay the $10,000 fine and to fix all the water problems by July 13th. The second is to renegotiate their contracts with the state, and the third is to turn everything over to the state and let them take it to court.

At a special called city council meeting Monday, the mayor recommended letting the state take over, but there were not enough council members at the meeting to take a vote and move forward.

"With the state coming in they will probably make all the necessary repairs to the water and sewer plant, however this is going to mean rate increases for the customers," said Council Member David C. Dixon.

But, the mayor says water rates will probably increase no matter what they choose.

He says it's best to let the professionals come in and fix the problems once and for all.

The mayor also says the city owes another $15,000 in fines from several years ago.

The city's next regular council meeting is next Tuesday at 6:30.

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