As most citizens of Craik are aware, we have an ongoing challenge to get utility bills paid in a timely manner.
While most people are very good at ensuring they pay their bills within the thirty (30) days allotted by the bylaw, there are a significant number who do not.
The Town has taken a number of steps to make it easier for people to honour their obligation.
In addition to cash or cheque, users can now take advantage of the debit machine at the Town Office.
A monthly payment plan is available for those who find the quarterly billing challenging.
However, despite these efforts, every quarter it is usually the same individuals who are delinquent. This is not acceptable for a number reasons.
First, it is unfair to expect the majority who are faithful in honouring their obligations to have to carry those who are not.
Secondly, it takes up an unnecessary amount of staff time to have to send out letters, make phone calls, and physically turn off, and then on, water services to ensure that these bills get paid.
Therefore, Town Council is considering the following changes:
- instituting a late payment charge of 2% interest per month on all accounts that are outstanding for 30 days or more
- shutting off water, without notice, on any accounts that are 60 days, or more, in arrears
- increasing the reconnect fee from $30.00 to $100.00
These changes, if approved, will not affect those who pay their bills in a timely manner.
On the other hand, these changes will provide a significant incentive for those who do not to start doing so.