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Tryon looks to collect $50k in delinquent water bills

Published 4:40pm Monday, March 25, 2013

Council directed interim town manager Joey Davis to come back with ideas next month on collecting delinquent payments for both active and inactive accounts and to research other towns’ policies.
“It seems that people don’t have money left at the end of the month and we seem to be left holding the bag,” said Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples.
The town currently has a three-year window to reclaim delinquent accounts from inactive customers where the water has either been shut off due to non-payment or the customer moves. Those accounts are subject to debt collection through the debt set off program, according to Davis.
Currently, with active accounts, a customer can apply for payment arrangements that includes filling out a form with the town manager’s authorization. If the customer violates the terms of the agreement, the town shuts off the water and the customer is charged a reconnection fee.
The town will discuss in April a formal policy going forward after speaking with other municipalities regarding their policies for active accounts.
The Town of Columbus found itself in a similar situation in 2008 and changed its policy dramatically to collect bills.
Columbus water bills are due on the 10th of every month and beginning on the 11th of the month the town charges a 10-percent penalty and if the bill is not paid in full by the 21st of the month, or the Monday following (if the 21st is on a weekend or holiday), Columbus cuts off the service with a $75 reconnect fee.

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