Kingston hires water operator
by Jason Lowrey
Dec 31, 2013 | 1610 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In its last 2013 meeting, the Kingston City Council hired a water operator to oversee its water utility. The hiring move will bring Kingston back into compliance with the Environmental Protection Division’s testing requirements.

Richard Bundy, who has worked as the water operator for Fairmount since 1995, has also worked with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers since 1991. He holds a Georgia Water Operator Class I license. His contract with the city, as approved, hired him on a per-month basis and he will be paid $1,000 per month.

After former water operator Billy Baker retired, the city had been without a water operator. Although safety testing continued under the Bartow County Water Department, Kingston was not complying with EPD rules requiring cities to have an employed water operator filing usage tests.

Council member Chuck Wise welcomed Bundy to the city and emphasized the water utility’s importance to Kingston.

“Our water issues is — [it’s] something we’ve got to have. We’ve spent a lot of money to try to get this new well online. There’s something that caved in, fell in, [we] started all over and rebuilt it, making it work and we’ve got to have it,” Wise said. “It’s the source of our revenue. It’s our safety. It’s our health, health issues. I hope you can put up with a lot of the stuff that goes on here in Kingston. I’d like to welcome you aboard.”

Mayor Pro Tem Louise Howell ran the called meeting as Mayor Ron Casey was unable to attend the meeting due to an ongoing recovery from surgery. Howell led the council to approve its 2012 financial audit, which will be submitted to the state.

The council also approved a motion to pay former city employee Thomas Heard $10,000. The amount represents what Heard would have been entitled to after his earlier dismissal, said attorney Robert Walker, filling in for City Attorney Brandon Bowen. The motion also allows him the ability to resign from the city’s service, or if he does not, his termination will be effective immediately.

The Monday morning meeting also was one of the last for council member Ed Miklas. Council member Harold Posey thanked Miklas for his service on the council. Wise and Howell thanked him as well. Posey also took the opportunity to clarify that Mayor-elect Wanda Penson and council member-elect Mike Abernathy will not have any authority until they are sworn at a later council meeting.

“Also, I want to thank Ed for his time and interest in serving the council for the last four years and for the effort that he has made. I think the citizens appreciate that,” Posey said.

Miklas thanked his colleagues for their kind words.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the city council the past four years. I wish you success in the next four years,” he said.

The Kingston City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. at city hall.