New Princeton ordinance drafted after official misused water - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

New Princeton ordinance in the works after official misused city hydrant

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PRINCETON, IN (WFIE) -

A Gibson County official is in hot water after using a city hydrant to fill his pool.

Brad Schmitt, a Patoka Township Trustee and member of the Princeton Fire Territory Board, has admitted to using the un-metered water.

City officials are already drafting a new ordinance to prevent any misunderstandings from happening again.

"It's an unfortunate incident, just an incident where sometimes people don't think ahead," Princeton Mayor Bob Hurt said.

Mayor Hurst said on May 24, Fire Chief Mike Pflug helped Schmitt fill his new above ground pool with a fire department hose, a city fire hydrant and no water meter.

What might  like a nice job perk, officials said was probably just a mistake.  

When word trickled back to city officials about the illegal water usage, Schmitt was billed.  

"The individual was then notified, bill sent out June 3rd and he paid it on June 7th," Mayor Hurst said.

Exactly two weeks after the fill up, Schmitt paid a bill for $128.39. That's payment for about 18,000 gallons of water. The Water Department policy allows 30 days to pay the bill.  

"We're working to clean it up, maybe the ordinance should have been a little bit tighter to begin with, you don't found those things out until something like this happens," Mayor Hurst said.

Mayor Hurst said the City Attorney is drafting a new ordinance to address the issue and will propose it at Monday's City Council meeting. The Fire Territory Board also meets Monday night.

Hurst said he's going to suggest the fire department stay away from filling pools. He said its more about the liability involved.  

"If a hose is leant out, comes back to the fire department and we have a fire downtown or something, you got a leaky house or a bad coupling or something," Mayor Hurst said.

Mayor Hurst said they want to help people in the community as much as possible and the new ordinance will do so in a safe manner.  

"You'll still be able to check out a meter and hose from the water department," Mayor Hurst said.

Mayor Hurst said he doesn't anticipate any disciplinary action will be taken, but as 14 News reported earlier in June, two McCutchanville firefighters were suspended after allegations they used a fire truck to fill a friend's pool. Both investigation are ongoing.

Schmitt and Pflug declined to comment until Monday's City Council meeting.

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