County officials want to put more enforcement measures into place to shut off water to Choctaw Lake residents who are still not paying their sewer bills.
Fifty-seven lake-area account holders are delinquent on their bills, Tom Taylor, sewer district superintendent, told Madison County Commissioners Monday.
In an effort to get folks to pay up, adding language to the Choctaw Association bylaws has been proposed.
Madison County prosecutor Steve Pronai said Tuesday he has crafted “sample language” for review by the Choctaw Board of Trustees.
“They’d have to adopt it into their bylaws to allow the utility board to shut off water because of dealing with delinquent accounts,” Pronai said.
Under the proposed language change, a shut-off notice would be sent at day 85. The shut-off will occur at day 90.
Taylor said shutting off the water is much easier to do than shutting off the sewer system.
“It takes a few seconds,” he said, adding the language change “would help us tremendously.”
Taylor said 15 of the 57 account holders have contacted the sewer district and terms are being worked out.
Delinquent accounts comprise approximately 6 percent of total number of county sewer accounts, said Nathan Peters, sewer district account manager. Throughout all the county sewer districts, the estimated delinquent funds is $55,000.
In September, it was reported that delinquent sewer bills in the Choctaw area totaled $49,000, and total delinquency was about $100,000.
Commissioners on Monday insisted they simply want the accounts owners to pay up or get on some kind of payment plan, but there has to be some kind of “enforcement” language in place.
“The intent is to get them to pay. We’re trying to collect money, not disconnect people,” said Commissioner Paul Gross. “It’s about getting them motivated.”
Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.
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