MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Commissioners unanimously approved Tuesday a certificate for the collection of delinquent water and wastewater accounts.
Their action changes the method of collection to increase the pressure on delinquent account holders to pay their overdue water and sewer bills. Instead of placing their delinquencies alongside property taxes owed and doing so on a yearly basis, this will now be done quarterly. Currently, of the county’s approximately 2,800 water and wastewater account holders, 32 of them have past due delinquent accounts that are at least a few months overdue for payment, county Administrator Jason Booth informed commissioners.
The need is two-fold to assess delinquencies quarterly for placement upon property taxes, Booth said, and it came as a request from county Water and Wastewater Department Superintendent Jeff Pickrell. One reason is that when the delinquencies were assessed annually, a property owner who was already many months in arrears on water and sewer bills could sell their property before paying them off.
“This is catching them quicker,” Booth said.
The majority of the county’s 2,800 combined water-and sewer-customers are in Apple Valley and Howard. Some customers who receive sewer service only are in Bladensburg, Booth said. The county can and does shut off water to customers who are delinquent but cannot shut off sewer service. Some of the customers who are delinquent are “habitual” about being late on their sewer payments, which was relayed to him and commissioners from Pickrell.
Although water is necessary to run a sewer line its intended way, people can use any water — even a bucket of water — to “flush” down a toilet.
“There are water meters for water customers. There are no meters for sewer (customers),” he said.
In other action Tuesday, commissioners approved two summer youth teacher vendor agreements between the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and two teachers who will provide high school credit recovery services to the students they tutor between June 3 and Aug. 1. One agreement was for teacher Deidre Rothgeb, who will receive a reimbursement up to $800, while the other agreement was with teacher Alexandra Rutherford for a maximum reimbursement of $3,200. The amounts relate to the number of students tutored. The vendor agreements run through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
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