Lake Station residents don't sink into water break issue

2013-02-07T22:00:00Z 2013-02-07T22:17:03Z Lake Station residents don't sink into water break issueBy Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

LAKE STATION | Mayor Keith Soderquist expected to field questions from residents upset about the recent citywide boil advisory.

Instead, the three residents who did ask questions or make comments at the City Council meeting Thursday focused on other issues.

"I was prepared to respond but no one brought up the water boil advisory issue," Soderquist said.

Soderquist said he has fielded calls from residents unhappy with the way the city sent out notification to residents on Jan. 31.

The break, in the 3400 block of East 20th Place, was discovered on the morning of Jan. 21 and impacted all customers served by Lake Station city water.

"We are looking at a call back system to communicate emergencies similar to what the school is using," Soderquist said.

"If we can afford to do it better we will," Soderquist added.

He said the city did send out water boil advisory notices using the news media, including TV, radio and newspaper announcements.

And the city also sent out 300 emails as well as notification though social media including Facebook.

Daily updates aren't currently available by city officials when it comes to its Lake Station website, Soderquist said.

"I think we did a great job of communication," Soderquist said.

Residents who did seek answers to other issues included Kim Frizzell, city court clerk, and residents Josie Collins and Grant Holder.

Frizzell, after providing January financial update on court finances, asked for clarification on compensation paid to former employee Miranda Brakley.

Brakley, a former city court clerk, is being asked to pay back $37,182 for unapproved leave payments and the cost of an audit, the State Board of Accounts has determined.

Frizzell said she needs clarification because a claim she received and  information noted in the State Board of Accounts audit differ.

She said in the State Board of Accounts claim Soderquist reportedly signed it and on the claim she received the mayor did not.

"I want to make sure the paperwork I'm receiving is correct," Frizzell said.

The state audit released Monday said Brakley, the stepdaughter of Soderquist, owes $13,160 for unapproved payment of leave, $664 for bond collections not received or deposited and $23,358 for state examination costs.

Frizzell was referred to an attorney for a response.

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