Pratt files complaint with attorney general

Linda Trest

Robert Pratt of the 500 block of W. Springfield Ave. has filed a complaint against the City of Gerald with the Missouri Attorney General.

Pratt claims the city is price gouging him for sewer charges. 

The trouble apparently began when his December water bill showed almost triple water usage from the month before. Investigation found a leak at an outside water hydrant. Pratt claimed it was too cold to correct the problem in December and January. 

When water usage increases, sewer charges also increase. The city worked with Pratt and forgave a portion of his sewer charge since the leaking water was not making it into the sewage system. 

The city granted Pratt an adjustment credit of $108.78 in February and $102.10 in March. 

In February, Pratt’s bill showed even higher usage than the December bill. He again asked the city to forgive a portion of his sewer charges. 

This time the city refused. 

Pratt appeared before the Board of Aldermen to plead his case. The Board replied that he had had ample time to address the water leak, but hadn’t. Therefore, they were not inclined to grant anymore credits. 

Pratt told them he had been advised to take the matter to the Attorney General’s office for resolution. 

Pratt was scheduled to again speak to the board at their April meeting. His complaint states “...called and attorney they told me this was a job for this office.” Pratt was not at the April meeting. He is again scheduled to speak at the Board of Aldermen’s meeting June 14. 

Pratt drastically reduced his water usage on his March bill. Public Works Director Nick Grube reports that as of May 10, the yard hydrant still had not been replaced. “He has reduced water usage but not fully corrected the problem,” Grube stated. 

An attached picture in the report shows the hydrant in a water-filled hole.