News Briefs: City Audit Shows Suspicious Spending at Nebraska Utility

Also in this week's water and wastewater news, two juvenile boys cause $100,000 in damages during vandalism spree at an Oklahoma water treatment facility

A recent audit in the city of Friend, Nebraska, revealed some suspicious spending going on in the sewer/water department, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

An attorney working on behalf of the city raised concerns about “frequent, high-dollar municipal purchases from two chemical distributors,” reads the report.

As an example, the city — with approval from the utility supervisor and city clerk — purchased a pallet of lift station degreaser for $5,572 from Central States Lab. But Central States Lab sold the exact same product to the city of Madison, Nebraska, for only $2,939.

The Auditor of Public Accounts told a distributor how much the city had been paying for another product and recorded his reaction, according to 1011 Now News:

“Oh, my God, who would be dumb enough to buy it?”

Juvenile Boys Cause $100,000 in Vandalism Damage at Treatment Plant

Two juvenile boys reportedly 9 or 10 years of age caused $100,000 in damages after vandalizing a water treatment plant in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they found damage including broken windows, broken doors, damaged surveillance cameras, destroyed computers and damaged toilets, according to the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office. The boys also painted sporadically around the facility.

Security footage clearly showed their faces and their identities were confirmed by local school officials.

“The juvenile suspects admitted to causing all of the damage and admitted to additional crimes,” Halfacre reports in a press release. “Charges have been submitted to the Wagoner County District Attorney’s office for their consideration.”

Water Main Break in Vermont Closes Schools, Causes Boil-Water Advisory

A large water main in Arlington, Vermont, ruptured in the early morning hours of Nov. 8, causing a portion of road to collapse, a boil-water advisory and the closure of area schools.

The pipe that broke is a 36-inch main, according to WTOP News. “With that much water — and it’s at a fairly high pressure at this portion of our system — it was basically like a geyser,” Mike Collins of the city’s Department of Environmental Services tells the station.


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