City eyes higher fees for overdue water bill notices
November 9, 2015
Steamboat Springs — City of Steamboat Springs water customers who don’t pay their bills on time could soon face higher late fees.
For half of a day every month, the city’s water department employees fan out across the city to deliver dozens of notices that warn water customers if they don’t pay their bills that are more than 60 days past due their water will be shut off.
Last month, 86 of the city’s 3,200 water customers received the door hangar notices. Some of the recipients of the warnings have received them 38 to 40 times before.
The water customers who get the warnings are charged an additional $15 on top of the late fees for the bill.
City officials say they are looking to increase that fee as a way to motivate customers to pay their bills sooner.
The city also wants to cut back on the amount of time its utility and finance departments spend sending out the dozens of notices each month.
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“We’re not looking at this to be an additional money maker. It’s to free up staff time so we can be doing more important tasks,” Finance Director Kim Weber said.
Weber said the city currently isn’t charging enough on the door hangar notices to recover the costs of deploying them.
Jon Snyder, the city’s utilities division supervisor, said the notices are very effective at spurring customers to pay their bills.
He said in any given month, only about five customers who get the warnings don’t pay and have their water shut off,
The city hasn’t decided yet how much it will increase the fees for the late notices.
Customers who receive the warnings are given five business days to pay their bills or have the water shut off.