Filing pool with city water followed procedure - statement says
CITY OF CLINTON ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING ALLEGED WATER THEFT BY CITY PERSONNEL
Clinton, SC, August 11, 2017 - The City of Clinton, as a service to its customers, for decades has worked to assist residents in filling their swimming pools when that service has been requested.
There is a procedure in place whereby arrangements are made with Utility Billing to invoice the customer or make an adjustment on their utility bill (sewer charges are removed since sewer service is not used), depending on what method is used to fill the pool. In some cases, the property owner uses their own water hose or a contractor, while city equipment is used at other times.
City equipment is used just like city equipment is used in installing security lights in customer’s yards or on commercial property or electrical connections to residences, businesses, etc. Additionally, a similar procedure is used by the city to sell water to contractors or other individuals to fill water tanks for road work, landscaping, etc. Selling water is part of our business and service operation.
After the accusation of the alleged incident was brought to the attention of city officials, an investigation was immediately initiated at the direction of the interim city manager. The result of this investigation determined the Addison’s followed the same established procedure as all other customers of the city have this year and in past years when filling their pools. The Addison’s contacted our Utility Billing Department prior to filling the pool on Memorial Day weekend and made arrangements to pay for the water. All steps of the established procedure used in filling the pool were followed on time, at the right time, and within city protocol.
However, in this case, city equipment was not used, but a fire hose was borrowed from a neighboring fire department because the Addison’s were concerned and cautious about being accused of using city equipment to fill their pool, although in this case, the use of city equipment would have been justified. After returning from the Memorial Day weekend, Utility Billing was contacted by the Addison’s in regards to how much water was used.
On June 22, 2017, two separate invoices for water used in filling customer’s pools were prepared and mailed - one to the Addison’s and one to another customer who had filled their pool several days after the Addison’s. The Addison invoice was paid within 30 days of receiving the invoice. By following the same established procedure as several other customers have this year and in many years past, the Addison’s never intended to cheat, wrong, or defraud the city out of the value of the water nor use their positions with the city for personal profit or gain nor was there any collusion or cover up by city administration.
As always when questions arise such as this, the City will review its practices and procedures to ensure the delivery of city services is as effective and efficient as possible. City Council has been advised of the findings of this investigation, which is now considered closed.
The City welcomes the opportunity to be transparent. However, the City felt it should investigate and gather all the facts surrounding this allegation prior to drawing conclusions before it voiced, printed, posted, or blogged any information as being factual.