Delinquent U-R sewer bills sent to auditor

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 18, 2000

Some county taxpayers will face extra payments with the next round of taxes.

Monday, September 18, 2000

Some county taxpayers will face extra payments with the next round of taxes.

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County commissioners sent the latest Union-Rome Sewer District delinquent account list to the county auditor’s office last week.

The list, compiled by sewer district officials, totals $109,571.99 in unpaid bills.

It identifies users who are delinquent past 90 days and requests their past due accounts be applied to property tax bills.

The collection method is approved by state law.

"Every year this time they give us the list and we certify it to the county auditor for collection," commission president Bruce Trent said.

Past due bills have plagued the sewer district for some time.

Earlier this year, the county heard reports from a users committee that indicated about $300,000 was owed the system from delinquent customers.

Commissioners feared the overdue bills would place the system’s budget in the red, so steps were taken to lessen future delinquencies.

More letters were sent and the county considered further court action, requesting information from the county prosecutor.

Commissioners eventually passed a 15 percent late penalty policy, placing extra charges against delinquent users.

That policy solved some collection problems but the county will continue to enforce every rule, Trent said.

If you owe money for using the sewer system, the county will take strong measures to collect, he said.

In other action last week, commissioners:

– Discussed use of vacant land produced by the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program property buyouts.

Homes purchased or relocated in eastern Lawrence County because they are in the flood area will leave county-owned vacant land when the project ends.

Citizens have been asking what the county will do with the areas, Trent said.

The county had talked about turning them into athletic areas or park-type areas but no decision has been made yet, he said.

"We will take the necessary steps to get the most suitable use we can out of them," he said. "They will not come into disrepair."

– Agreed to check with legislators and the Gallia County commissioners about water service to County Road 37.

Jeff Saunders, a resident of that area, requested the county review grant money that was promised to the project several months ago. The County Road 37 area, especially near Lecta, needs water and is easily served, Saunders said.

Wells have gone dry and most people are hauling water, he said.

Commissioners agreed to examine new grant monies, as well as write letters to Gallia County and Lawrence Water about cooperating on a project.