|The town of Millington could soon change its water fee schedule — in an effort to reduce the number of residents who are habitually late in paying for this utility.
According to the Easton Star Democrat, Millington’s mayor and city council proposed imposing a late fee of $5 per month after 30 days of nonpayment at its May 26 budget workshop. Additionally, the town would notify delinquents of late payments after 60 days, rather than 90 days.
Currently, the town, which bills its residents quarterly, gives its residents a grace period of grace period of 102 days — more than another full quarter — before shutting off their water due to nonpayment. This collection cycle goes against the town’s quarterly payment of $17,000 for construction on its water treatment plant, meaning the town must pay for its own expenses before it can collect fees from residents.
Because Millington hasn’t changed its water fee schedule in more than 10 years, “we are going on income of 10 years ago against today’s expenses,” explained Mayor C.J. Morales.
Of the town’s 636 residents, 25 are chronically late in paying their water bills. While most of these people eventually pay before the town cuts off their water service, about three residents have their water shut off per billing cycle. The town charges residents a $100 fee to have their water turned back on.
If residents are unable to pay their water bills, an easy solution to the problem is to cut down on the amount of water they use. For example, making repairs to leaking faucets, pipes and toilets can prevent the average household from wasting anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water every year.
In another effort to boost its revenues, the town council also agreed to charge a $100 fee to shut off water service and a $100 fee to turn it back on for its “snowbird” residents who spend their winters in Florida and other warmer locales, theStar Democrat reported.
The town of Millington must adopt a balanced budget before July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year.