Past due bills top agenda item for Durbin council

At its regular meeting September 9, Durbin town council discussed the process of collecting past due bills, and what happens when residents do not pay bills.

Council has implemented a payment plan for residents to give them a chance to pay the past due amount in installments.

Town treasurer Veronica Lane said she has met with individuals to create a payment plan which allows them to pay the past due amount, as well as their current bill.

Town recorder Danielle Findley asked if there is a document that explains the past due bill policy.

“What I’m looking for is a one page document that says bills are due on the twenty-fifth, there’s a ten day grace period and at the end of twenty-five days [overdue], a certified letter is sent,” Findley said. “We need it so we can post it in here.”

Findley also asked for clarification on the termination process if bills are not paid on time.

“After the due date, we send a termination notice of the amount and they have ten days to pay that or they can notify the Public Service Commission to have a hearing on it,” mayor Donald Peck said.

After bills are delinquent for 20 days, a termination notice is sent to residents. If the bill is not paid at that time, the water will be turned off.

Referring to a list of residents who owe past due bills, Findley asked why the termination rule is not followed for all delinquent bills.

“Why do we have people one hundred-twenty days out and their is still not a shut off?” she asked. “We’ve had people that have been shut off at thirty-five days, forty-five days, so if I’m, for example, going to be shut off at thirty-five days, I think everybody should be shut off at thirty-five days. I want to live by that, like it’s written in the back of our bible. It’s got to be the same for everybody.”

Lane explained that the list is misleading because the residents who are on a payment plan are still considered delinquent in the system. Although the bills are being paid monthly, the residents in question will show up on the spreadsheet as 120 days without making payment.

“I’ve got customers that are paying their past due plus their present, but it still throws them out there,” Lane said.

Findley said she would work with Lane to make a fact sheet concerning the past due bill policy and make it available for residents.

In other news:

• Mayor Peck said Region IV will be at a special meeting Friday, September 18, at 11 a.m., at the town office to discuss the sewer line project in Durbin.

• Council scheduled a meeting for Tuesday, September 30, at 6:30 p.m. to form a committee for Durbin Days Heritage Festival. Those interested in serving on the committee are asked to attend.

Durbin Town Council meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the town office.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

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