REDINGTON SHORES – Commissioner Jeff Neal’s suspicions that faulty sewer meters in the town were giving false readings, resulting in sewer bill overcharges, have turned out to be true.

Now, Neal’s investigation into the matter is paying off. He announced at the Oct. 10 Town Commission meeting that the county determined a meter “had been bad for a few months.” The town will be getting a $93,000 credit on their sewer bill.

Neal said he has been in frequent communication with county officials on the sewer problem. “We talk all the time,” Neal said.

At a recent meeting, they were able to verify the faulty meter readings, “and I walked out the door with a $93,000 credit for the town.”

Neal said the refund was a result of the county officials looking into the sewer problem and determining what happened, with very little pressure from him.

The investigation into the meters and possible overcharges in ongoing.

“We’re still working on it,” he said.

Sewer relining proceeding

In another sewer related activity that could bring more savings to the town, Neal said relining of the sewers is going well. He said the job is done up through 176th Avenue, and except for a delay caused by “a camera stuck in a line,” he believes “we’re making pretty good time.”

The sewer relining “will save us a lot of money,” Neal said, by correcting rainwater infiltration into the system. That has resulted in extra charges of about $20,000 to $50,000 a month, to process the rainwater that has seeped into the system along with the sewage water, Neal said at the August meeting.

Funding for Fire/EMS building approved

The commission approved spending $140,000 to help fund the new Fire/EMS building that will be located on the border between Redington Shores and North Redington Beach. The cost is Redington Shores’ share of the $2 million facility, which is being split among the county and the Redingtons.

Mayor MaryBeth Henderson said the building will be “very innovative” and is “a win-win all the way around.”

The city of Seminole provides fire services to the Redingtons. Seminole Fire Chief Heather Burford said the Department is “very excited” about the new facility. The Redingtons are the only fire district in the county without a fire station, Chief Burford said.

Though the Seminole Fire Department currently maintains response times well within the 71/2-minute requirement mandated by the county for EMS calls, Burford said the new station will definitely improve the response time even further.

She said the station will be primarily an EMS facility at first, with firefighting capabilities. There will also be a multipurpose component.

Burford said providing EMS services to the Redingtons community at or lower than the required response time is a challenge, due to an aging population and the number of high rise condo buildings that require extra time to reach residents. The nearness of the new station will be a big help in reaching residents, Burford said.

Workshop meeting cancelled

The next Town Commission workshop, scheduled to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 31, was cancelled by the commission, after Henderson pointed out that date was Halloween.