A 200-foot clog of grease may bring a lawsuit against an Osyka restaurant by the town.

The issue arose in May, when the board agreed to pay $4,300 for a sewer main repair that was needed due to the blockage.

Contractor Greenbriar Digging fixed the line and noted that grease was the cause of the problem. Town Clerk Hilda Wall said she tried to get a letter from Greenbriar stating as such, but the contractor didn’t want to get involved.

Aldermen wanted Austin Butler, who owns the Burger Basket — the alleged culprit behind the grease blockage —to pay for half of the work.

Butler had planned to appear before the board Thursday to contest the demand but did not show.

Mayor Allen Applewhite explained the situation to board attorney Wayne Dowdy, who missed the discussion during the May meeting.

“We had an issue with the burger basket. They were having trouble with the sewer line,” Applewhite said. “Wound up they didn’t have a grease trap and grease completely stopped up the service line from where they tapped in all the way to the manhole, which was 200 feet away.”

Dowdy said he would have recommended the board ask Butler for full reimbursement, calling the issue a cut-and-dry case if the town had proof the line was damaged by grease.

“You inform him he needs to pay it, or, with authorization from the board, I will file suit with the justice court,” Dowdy said.  

Applewhite said the town had documentation and photographs of the line when it was clogged, showing it was filled with grease.

The board also addressed the issue of people driving ATVs in the cemetery.

While on the topic of the cemetery, the board also approved replacing the lights in the cemetery with LED lights, and Wall asked the aldermen if any more streets may need new lights installed. Alderman Roddie Varnado said Thir, Liberty and Prentiss streets need new lights.

Wall said she would look into pricing for them, noting that it would cost more upfront but the lights save money in the long run.

The board then discussed unkept yards in town. Dowdy said the board could declare the properties a menace to public safety and health, and hold a public hearing for the owners to explain that they either cleaned their properties or explain why they think their yards are not so bad.

The board approved the idea unanimously and set the hearing for those property owners to coincide with the next board meeting on Sept. 3.

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