32 customers may face sewer service cutoff in Silver Springs
Appeal Staff Writer
Thirty-two Silver Springs General Improvement District customers who are behind on their sewage bills could face the prospect of having their service disconnected.
The Silver Springs GID voted Monday to send a letter to 30 residents and two businesses who are past due on their sewage bills more than 60 days, and who have had liens placed against their property.
The letter informs customers that all costs associated with the discontinuance of service will be added to the past-due balance, an estimated amount of $500 to $800, depending on the time and materials necessary to disconnect then reconnect the service. Customers in arrears are already charged 1.5 percent per month late fee.
Trustee Robin Harina said residents will have the opportunity to pay or request a hearing before the GID board before disconnection.
“We don’t want to beat them up,” she said of the customers in arrears, but indicated many of the 32 accounts are seriously delinquent.
If the sewer service is discontinued, Harina said, the board will inform the water company and the county building department, which will red-tag the building as unfit for occupancy.
Harina said the GID is owed about $18,000 in past-due payments and late charges, but letters are only going to those who already have liens on the property.
She said they are in better shape than it appears because last year’s real estate boom caused some properties to be brought current, and that late fees are also calculated into the $18,000 figure.
Trustee Bill Holler said the fact that the sewer system was “rammed down our throats in 1999” might lead some people not to pay out of anger.
“A lot of the people who are not paying their bills could feel the same way,” he said.
But GID board chairman Bob Freeman wasn’t buying that.
“It’s been too long,” he said. “They’ve played around and played around, and now we have to show the people we’re going to collect these funds.”
Harina said the board’s options in dealing with customers who have not paid are to discontinue service, pursue the liens, or take the customer to court.
She said the most cost-effective route was to discontinue the service of non-payers.
Trudy Kolsch, who was appointed to the GID board Monday, said sending out the notices will probably prompt residents to pay off their accounts.
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111, ext. 351.