Liberty will require $40 utility fee


LIBERTY - The City Council will do away with a deposit fee for utilities but will require a $40 non-reimbursable fee for all utility connection maintenance visits.

The council had first reading Wednesday on an amendment to the ordinance relating to utility billing in an effort to save the city money.

"We're really experiencing significant problems in certain areas," said Mayor Steve Sweeney.

"A lot of people pay the deposit to hook up to utilities, then move. They get the deposit back. Sometimes people move several times a year," he said.

This means the city maintenance department could make several trips to one place to connect utilities, but the city will not receive any additional money for the work.


"The city does not want to create hardships, but also we don't want people to make it hard on us," said the mayor.

He said one residence has a $2,000 bill, but the owner won't pay.

Over the past few years, the city has more than $21,000 owed on utilities.

By adding a non-reimbursable fee, the mayor hopes to solve the problem.

He said the change in charges was recommended by the city's auditor.

The amendment states that utility bills will be mailed the first day of each month and become due the 15th of the month.

If payment is not made by the deadline, a delinquency penalty of 10 percent of the bill will be added.

Notices of delinquent bills will be mailed out on the 16th of each month, with 10 days notice of delinquent billing to be paid in full.

After the second notification, if payment is not received, utilities will be disconnected. Utilities will not be reconnected until the bill is paid in full and a $20 reconnect fee is paid.

Owners of rental property and occupants will be jointly liable for late utilities, according to the ordinance.

The rates and charges will be billed to the owners or occupants of the premises, and if the occupant is not the owner, both the owner and occupants will be responsible for the payment. If the bill is unpaid, a lien will be placed on the premises.

After second reading during a special meeting at 4:30 p.m. Friday at City Hall, the ordinance will be enforced.

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