Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 28, 2014

Payment by November

By Trisha Phelps | Sep 13, 2013

MT. PLEASANT — Jack Seward, Washington County supervisor, and the rest of the board of directors for the Regional Utility Service Systems (RUSS) came to an agreement Wednesday regarding Washington County paying RUSS back for the short-term loan taken out for the Richmond and Rubio projects at Wednesday’s meeting.
According to Seward, RUSS Executive Director Bruce Hudson had given the impression during an April meeting that the money would not become due until January 2014, giving Washington County ample time to make sure the amount being charged to them was the true amount due.
In July, Hudson had sent out an invoice to Washington County, activating the 60-day notice of collection on the money owed.
However, at the last meeting Seward informed the board that he did not have all of the invoices.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Seward came to the board and asked for an extension for Washington County so they could have until November to review the invoices.
“We are looking over the options to get the money (paid) back,” said Seward. “I don’t think there will be any problems for us to pay the money that is owed. Whether or not we can come to an agreement and pay it off in September, I kind of doubt, though. I would ask for an extension for us to have it paid off sometime in November.”
Hudson replied to the request by telling the board of a conversation he had earlier in the day with RUSS Chair Deke Wood of Keokuk County.
“We discussed that even though we sent out the letter, you said at the last meeting that you hadn’t gotten all the invoices yet, so we got them to you on Aug. 16, so Deke said that maybe we should go from that date instead,” said Hudson.
“I can’t see counting all the days until you had the invoices,” said Wood. “I don’t think that is right.”
Seward told the board he was still waiting to hear back from USDA for information to aid in assessing the charges to the county.
“I told them we had some questions,” said Seward. “They said they wouldn’t tell us anything until RUSS gave the OK and you (Hudson) told me at the last meeting that you had given them the go-ahead, so now I am just waiting.
“Even if you took the 60 days from when we got the invoices, that would put us at the middle of October,” continued Seward. “I would ask that you give us until the next regular RUSS board meeting, the November meeting. I am pretty sure we could have it by then.”
“My directive on it would be to allow that,” said Hudson.
Wood pointed out that there is a scheduling conflict with the regular meeting date in November, so Bob Waugh, supervisor from Van Buren County, moved that the November meeting be pushed back a week to Nov. 20 and for that to be the due date for the money owed by Washington County.
The board approved the motion.
The next RUSS meeting will be held Oct. 9, at 1 p.m., in the Henry County Emergency Management building.

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