Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 20, 2014

Washington County exits RUSS projects

By TRISHA PHELPS | Apr 30, 2013

At a special meeting on Wednesday, the Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) board acknowledged the decision that was made on Tuesday at the Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting releasing RUSS from involvement in the Richmond and Rubio sewer projects.

The special meeting was requested at the April 10 RUSS meeting when Supervisor Jack Seward of Washington asked the board for another extension to the Washington County Supervisors to give an answer for the Richmond and Rubio projects. His original request was for 30 days, but the RUSS board agreed to give him until April 24.

“It looks like we are de-obligating both,” said Seward. “Of course it would be pending finding out how much money is already owed for the project, what will come due and all kinds of legal stuff.”

While the RUSS board is no stranger to having to take legal action, Seward assured the board that Washington County was willing to cooperate without having to take things to court.

“The main thing is,” said Seward. “I’m willing to speak for the majority of the board when I say this, we will pay what we owe without any court action, that’s our intention.”

“I think the most important thing is that you were able to come to a decision. I think that it may not be the decision that I was hoping for, but at least a decision has been made,” said Ernie Schiller of Lee County.

“As you can see it was not a unanimous decision, but I respect the views of the other supervisors. I think we all feel respective of the other side,” said Seward.

The vote for the Richmond project at the Washington County Supervisors meeting was 4-to-1 in favor of removing RUSS from the Richmond project and 3-to-2 in favor of removing RUSS from the Rubio project.

Seward informed the RUSS board that after the Washington Supervisors’ meeting, Seward and Washington County Supervisor Chairman Rob Bennett went to ask the county attorney, Larry Brock, to draft a letter to the RUSS board stating the Washington County supervisors’ plans, but that things weren’t going as smoothly as he had hoped.

“We thought it was a good idea that he would draft some kind of a letter officially notifying RUSS of our plans. He had a little problem with the votes that were taken on the motions and as of this morning, he had not made a letter,” said Seward.

Since he did not have a letter drafted from the county attorney, Seward went to the auditor to make a statement to give to RUSS. “I did the best with what I had,” said Seward.

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