Republic residents will get welcome discount on next two utility bills

If you were inconvenienced by the recent change of billing software by the city of Republic, or even if you weren’t, the city wants to extend an olive branch. On a unanimous vote by the Republic City Council, Feb. 5, the council passed a resolution to discount the February and March utility bills by 12.5 percent each bill.
During the software change, some residents were billed every six or seven weeks instead of each month, leading to much larger bills. The snafu also occurred when the city was replacing phone systems, leading to unanswered calls, exacerbating the situation.
The mea culpa discount won’t come cheap, however. It is projected to cost the city from $97,000 to $120,000, which will come out of the wastewater fund.
On the bright side, the new billing software is much better suited for a city the size of Republic than the outgoing product. City officials believe the bugs have been worked out of the software and expect smooth sailing henceforth.
Also during the meeting, it was decided unanimously that the city will repeal its stringent building regulations on the main corridors into town that require a brick or similar material to be used on facades, as well as other rules enacted in the adoption of the 2005 commercial overlay district.
“They have caused more problems and cost than they have generated revenue,” said Community Development Director Garrett Tyson.
In other action, the council—in reaction to a $10 million cut to the Ozarks Transportation Organization budget by the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission—unanimously passed a resolution opposing the current MoDOT funding allocation.
The change drops the OTO budget from $16 million to $6 million. At the top of the OTO priority list was to revamp the U.S Highway 60 corridor through Republic. The future of the project, which may have begun in the next two years, is now unknown.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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