Utility bill delinquency discussed in Monroe
At the January session of the Monroe Town Council, Jeremy Brown, the town's legal counsel, reported that he and clerk-treasurer Rachel Burkhart have worked out "a more streamlined process" for dealing with delinquent water and sewer bill payments.
Brown said there are two parts to the plan. Sewer bills that are unpaid by Monroe residents will be attached as liens on their property. When the site is sold, the sewer payment must come to the town from the proceeds of the sale.
Regarding unpaid water bills, Brown said state law will not allow use of liens. He said the clerk-treasurer should periodically make a report at a public meeting of the town council and list the names of the people who are not paying their water bills, so the news media can publicize those persons.
There is also the possibility of shutting off water service to residents who do not pay their bills and that has been done at times, according to council president Al Lehman.
Brown noted that Monroe usually gives residents two months before demanding payment of bills.
Lehman added that, in regard to rental properties in town, he knows of two instances in which landlords were billed for water and sewer use, leaving the landlords to seek reimbursement from their tenants for those payments.