Issue with water bills in Mason

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

MASON — A number of Mason water customers might see adjustments to their bills after an employee allegedly intentionally failed to read the meters properly, it was told at the most recent meeting of town council.

Over 300 customers could possibly have been affected, with more than 50 already contacting the water office, Mayor Donna Dennis said. It was noted however, that not all affected customers had a negative impact.

Water office employees attended the meeting and have been reviewing the accounts that could have been affected. The mayor said after the review, those accounts needing adjustments would be rectified.

The alleged offense was reflected on bills that were mailed in early January. Some residents saw lower than average bills. When the most recent bills were sent out on Feb. 1, those residents saw much higher bills than average.

An executive session was held at the end of the meeting, lasting over an hour. When council returned to regular session, the employee was terminated immediately from his position.

Debbie Gerlach of the Middleport Community Association attended the meeting to tell the council that the association is dissolving. The Town of Mason has joined forces with the group in recent years to fund the annual Fourth of July fireworks display.

Gerlach said another group is forming that will continue the fireworks and her hope is that Mason will continue to support the display. The mayor said she has already been contacted by a representative of the new group, and sees no problem with the town’s continued support.

In other action, the council:

Agreed to place gravel on Locust and Fruth lanes;

Approved repairs to the town’s two all-terrain vehicles, at an estimated cost of $2,000;

Agreed to move the employee payroll period from Friday through Thursday, to Thursday through Wednesday, with checks to remain being distributed on Friday;

Decided to look into possible landscaping solutions at the town park to alleviate an area near the restrooms and first shelter that remains muddy;

Tabled the purchase of lock-out kits for the police department; and,

Heard from Police Chief Colton McKinney that the department received a grant for a “Click It or Ticket” operation, to be held March 1-17.

Attending were Mayor Dennis, Recorder Christy McDonald, and council members Ricky Kearns, Sharon Kearns, Marty Yeager (by phone), Emily Henry and Becky Pearson. The next meeting will be Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at