"At that time, I thought it was taken care of," Stigall told the commission, but in April, he said the company received another notice that said the water will be cut off in a 10-day period if the bill was not paid.
"By August, the company will have 50 employees," Stigall said, and this number could double. "Which means you'll be getting more in payroll tax."
Stigall said he was told the city manager nor the city engineer have the authority to forgive the utility bill.
"But when a company gets a notice that their water will be cut off - it's not a sign we want to send," Stigall said.
City Engineer Earl Coffey said if the commission would like staff to waive the fee, then it needs to be abundantly clear how the process will be handled in the future.
"I think the commission needs to think about the precedent this will set in the future," City Manager Paul Stansbury said. "The other fees may not be this low."
A long discussion continued about how the situation is normally handled. The industrial authority typically arranges for the work to be done, and therefore all tap-on fees are waived by the city.
"A connection fee is a fee," Commissioner Terry Crowley said. He asked, in past situations, who paid for the cost of time and materials, and expressed his concern over the precedent that could be set.
Coffey said the specific situation was a difficult one to explain quickly, and in the future, the situations need to be worked out more clearly with the industrial authority.
"There is a written incentive package that says there is no cost to the company associated with the water hook-up," Lassiter persisted. He said this is not the type of message Danville wants to send to companies interested in moving in, and wanted to know that the commission would honor the pre-existing agreement.
"Earl (Coffey) is right," Crowley said. "It's a matter of interpretation. I kind of don't like the interpretation that the city was not acting in good faith. We waived the connection fees ... I don't like it characterized that way because now we're being asked to give $1,300 more."
Lassiter contended that the city was following the agreement, since it specifically states the company will not pay any hook-up fees. He said he did not want to set up a negative precedent that Danville doesn't stand by its agreement.
Stigall said after the line was in-ground, the industrial authority extended it further and paid for the work, then the contractor asked the city to come out and tap the line and transfer it to the meter.
"So this was a fee charged for the tap, plus extension," Crowley said.
"That's a tap-on fee," Stigall said.
"I know you think that," Crowley said, to some laughter.
Mayor Pro-Tem Kevin Caudill made the motion that the bill be waived, and Crowley said, "I'm gritting my teeth, but I'll second the motion."
The motion was passed unanimously.
Lassiter plans to create incentive packages "in such a way that the city and county will be holding hands," and there will be no vague offers.
Citizen Kay Sheldon spoke during public comments, and told the commission she was "blown away" by the way it handled Lassiter and Stigall's request. She said she was glad the meeting was not televised because it would have resulted in a negative response.
"Sitting out here, it was like watching arguments against it. We need to raise our tax structure, and if word gets out that we don't honor (the agreements), that's the last thing we need to do. I was very disappointed in the way that was handled," Sheldon said.