Don’t tamper with the meters

Published 4:31 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

MURFREESBORO – Following a request from the town’s Public Works Department, the Murfreesboro Town Council approved an ordinance amendment to raise tampering fees during their regular meeting on Jan. 25.

The discussion first began back in December when Town Administrator Carolyn Brown brought the request to the council in response to some complaints of people tampering with water meters.

“The fee’s only $25. They want the council to consider raising tampering fees to $50,” Brown explained. “Public Works has to take their time, manpower, and their materials to fix this [the tampering].”

At that meeting, Town Attorney Cecelia Jones said she would draw up an amendment to the current ordinance and make sure any changes were in compliance with state law. At their next meeting on Jan. 11, Jones presented a resolution outlining the council’s intent to amend the ordinance.

The amendment stated that any person found in violation (by tampering) can be issued a citation for $50, with each and every day of violation being a distinct and separate offense. This is in addition to the penalties already outlined in the state’s general statute 14-151, which notes that criminal violations can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount of damage.

The final step came with the vote on amending the ordinance on Jan. 25. Council member David Brown motioned to make the amendment, and council member James Futrell seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor with no further discussion.

Before the vote, however, they did discuss a few clarifying details. The newly-increased fee will still be collected by Public Works and the money will continue to go to the town’s Enterprise (water and sewer) Fund as it has in the past.