New office hours for LMU starting March 8

Lenox Municipal Utilities Board approved a change in office hours, water rate study, customer support agreement for the generator, and asked for direction on where to spend the economic dollars available at their February 11 meeting.
The board approved the resignation of Brooke Pafford effective March 5. Office employees Jamie Brown and Trisha Mains did not think they needed to hire someone to replace Pafford at this time, but they would like to close the office during the noon hour, from 12 to 1 p.m. Since COVID, foot traffic in the office has gone down. People are using credit or debit cards to pay their bills over the phone or have set up automatic withdrawals for bill payments. Customers also use the drop box for their bills.
John Borland, manager, said he visited with the personnel committee and they did not see a problem with closing through the noon hour. The new office hours will start March 8.
Borland suggested they do a water rate study. The last water rate increase for Lenox Water Works was in 2015. SIRWA raised the rates since then, but that increase was a pass-through. Borland said the cost of supplies to do DNR -mandated tests have gone up tremendously in the past few years and more tests are required, increasing costs. In 2020, there was only two months that revenue was greater than expenses. He is hoping the individual who did the electric rate study will also do the water rate study. The board agreed it was a good idea to do it and approved to move forward with it.
The board approved a customer support agreement to service the engine for the 2001 Caterpillar. The current contract expires March 1, 2021. The agreement will cover almost everything on parts and labor.

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