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O’Fallon approves stalking, harassment code; ballot proposition for service line repair fee

At its Jan. 14 meeting, the O’Fallon City Council approved Bill No. 7272 regarding city code amendments for protection from stalking and harassment. The vote was 10-0. 

The council also unanimously approved Bill No. 7268 to place a water service line repair fee proposal on the April 6 General Municipal Election ballot.

Bill No. 7272, sponsored by Mayor Bill Hennessy, amends city code Section 215 to match applicable state laws pertaining to the offenses of stalking, harassment and cyber-harassment. The amendments provide O’Fallon residents with the maximum protection from such conduct, by defining and outlining a course of conduct, emotional distress, stalking and harassment.

Constitutionally protected activity is not included, such as picketing or other organized protests.

The offenses of stalking and harassment will be a city ordinance violation, punishable with a fine of up to $500, up to three months imprisonment, or both the fine and imprisonment.

Mid Rivers Newsmagazine published a detailed story on this bill on Dec. 17.

Bill No. 7268, sponsored by Mayor Bill Hennessy, authorizes a proposition to be placed on the April 6 General Municipal Election. If approved by voters, the proposition would authorize a fee for the repair or replacement of water lines extending from the water main to a residential dwelling due to failure of the line. These service lines often fail due to poor installation methods or degradation of the pipe material over time. 

City code provides that the water provider covers the cost of service line repairs between the water main and the curb stop or exterior meter.  The property owner is responsible for repairs from the curb stop or exterior meter to within the house. The cost to repair service lines can be expensive, and the process can be cumbersome from a residential perspective.

The new program, as proposed, would provide assistance for the repair of a break on the resident’s side of the water service line. 

This fee, if approved by voters in April, would allow the city to set up and operate a water service line insurance/repair program much like the current sewer lateral insurance program.

Mid Rivers Newsmagazine published a detailed story on this bill on Dec. 11.

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