Township refuses to help gas station pay water bill

Owner said spigot used by visitors to cemetery will be shut off


FLINT TWP. — Consider this your shut-off notice if you are in the habit of getting water from the Mobile Gas Station, 2518 W. Bristol Road, to water plants next door at Bristol Cemetery. A water spigot at the gas station is no longer available.

The Township Board of Trustees, which owns the cemetery, unanimously declined to help pay a water bill presented by the station manager which he said stemmed in part from a waterline leak and from water used by cemetery visitors last summer.

Dr. Peter Meram asked the board  to pay $493.27 — half of a water bill balance — and to forgive an additional $209.40 for penalties accrued while the unpaid bill was in dispute from November until now.

Kim Courts, township clerk, said the problem began last Memorial Day, a busy time at the cemetery. Meram turned on the spigot as a courtesy for cemetery patrons to use. That set off a waterline leak that resulted in some large puddles in the gas station parking lot. After repairmen came out to assess the problem, the water valve was shut off.

Township officials estimate cemetery patrons have used the water tap for as long as 50 years. Trustee George Menoutes said he was on the board when the gas station was approved and recalled that the developer offered free use of water from the spigot as a courtesy to cemetery visitors.

Meram said cemetery visitors continued to use other water sources at the gas station after the spigot was shut off.

Supervisor Karyn Miller argued in favor of granting Meram’s request for help paying the bill.

“I am putting in a plea for this business owner,” she said. “$493.27 is half of the Nov. 1 bill.”

But board Treasurer Sandra S. Wright said she would vote against paying what Meram asked because the bill in question was not caused by the faulty spigot.

In a motion to pay the amount Meram requested, Miller and Courts voted yes and Kasle, Menoutes, Parker and Wright voted no. Barb Vert was absent.

A second motion to waive the accrued penalties was unanimously approved.

Miller said the township has placed water vessels at the cemetery that will be filled by the fire department for cemetery visitors to use from now on.

Calling the matter “over and done with,’’ Meram declined comment on the board’s decision. He said he would not have the same problem this summer because he will not be turning on water to the spigot.


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