Tryon to keep 10-day water bill policy

Published 6:20 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New bills state cutoff date

Tryon council members decided to keep the town’s new water bill policy in place, which disconnects service when a bill is unpaid for 10 days past due, despite some complaints.

Council met Sept. 17 and discussed its policy and a new notice that states the actual cutoff date of service. This new notice was included on late bills as of Sept. 20.

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Tryon Town Manager Joey Davis said as council has seen in the newspaper and letters, several citizens have voiced concerns over the new water policy. Most, Davis said, would like to see the town extend its policy. Davis said the town is limited on water bills as to what can be printed, but the new bills will give a date in which service will be disconnected.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said the town has roughly 2,000 water customers and asked how many were scheduled for cutoff most recently. Davis said the last cutoff had 61 customers scheduled to be disconnected.

Peoples said last month there were approximately 3 percent of customers who had a problem paying bills and maybe the new message will lower that number.

Tryon approved a new policy that went into effect on July 1 that gives customers 10 days past the due date before service is disconnected. The new policy was approved in May, following the town seeing more than $50,000 in delinquent bills owed to the town.

A customer’s service is disconnected on the 11th day past due. For the first couple of months of the new policy, the bill stated, “the cutoff day is scheduled.” The new bills will say the actual cutoff date. Bills in Tryon are due on the 15th, so the service could be discontinued as early as the 26th of the month with a $35 reconnect fee.

Davis encouraged anyone with a question or problem about utility bills to contact town hall. Tryon does have a payment plan for customers who have issues paying their bills.

Tryon has also recently given Davis approval to find a company to contract with so customers can pay their bills with credit or debit cards.