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City Could Strengthen Bill Late-Payment Rules

Posted: Saturday, January 12th, 2013 at 6:24 am
Author: KCII News - Ben Stanton

The City of Washington might decide to get tougher about timely payments for water bills. The City Council may be considering a resolution with more clear language regarding late payments.  The draft resolution explains that currently, the city might make special arrangements for payment of overdue bills, which it says takes up staff time and resources.

If the resolution were approved, it would mean ending the practice of making those arrangements, with the exception of once-a-year and only with extenuating circumstances.  That limited extension would need to be authorized by the City Administrator.

A customer would be disconnected if the full balance of a bill is not paid in full on a bimonthly basis by the 25th of the month.

The resolution also would get the city signed up to participate in a program through the state that essentially withholds a person’s income tax refund for the amount owed on their water bill.  The state then sends the money to the city for a fee much lower than the amount owed.

Another section of the resolution describes setting a fee for residents that write bad checks to pay bills.  The fee would be set at the maximum allowable by law.

The council plans to discuss the possible changes at the meeting next week.