The Pell City Council is expected this month to raise the income level for senior citizens to receive a reduced water rate.

Having tabled an ordinance to increase the minimum monthly income from $900 to $1,200, the council will likely approve the measure when it meets again at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12.

As many as 180 residents would qualify for the assistance, according to Mayor Bill Hereford.  “This is a small group of people who really need some help,” he told the council.  “It isn’t likely to impact the city significantly.  We’ve got some serious problems here, but poverty isn’t one of them like it is in some other places.”

Councilman Greg Gossett expressed concerns about making sure reduced bills are provided only to qualified residents.

“I’m definitely not against it,” he said.  “I don’t care if there’s 250 out there who qualify.  It’s just that there needs to be some way to police it.”

The council also approved an ordinance allowing its municipal reapportionment plan to be submitted to the U.S. Justice Department.  Councilwoman Dot Wood opposed the move, as she did earlier when the plan itself was adopted.

“Of the plans we looked at, it had the most deviations,” she said.  I believe the department of justice will send it back to us.”

In other actions the council:

—Approved a proclamation honoring utility department employee, Danny Williams, who died Nov. 10.

—Agreed to seek bids for water and sewer main replacements on 29th and 30th Streets.

—Granted the St. Clair County Airport Authority’s request for permit and fee exemptions for its T-hangar addition.

—Approved emergency replacement of radio repeater equipment for the police department and created an assistant police chief’s position.

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