Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 1, 2014

Computer crackdown on utility payments

By Trisha Phelps | Jan 04, 2013

WAYLAND – The new computer system in Wayland City Hall will help the city to crack down on people who do not pay their gas, water, sewer and garbage bills.
“I don’t think it will solve the whole problem, but it will make it easier for the customer to know what they are going to pay,” explained Marsha Chalupa, deputy city clerk.
Under the old computer system for people paying their utility bills, citizens were able to have a yearly budget plan, which would let them pay the same amount each month over the course of a year. With the budget system, people were able to pay extra and build up a credit on their account. The new computer system, however, does not allow for a credit buildup.
“As far as that credit goes, Bev (Conrad, city clerk) and I talked about it, we are going to have to let them go and let the credit get eaten up,” said Chalupa. “The computer will apply the credit to whatever utilities are out there and if they have the credit, it will apply it to the utilities and not send them a delinquent letter as long as they pay every month.”
The problem that the council has found, is that not everyone pays what they owe each month.
“We have people on budget who are on payment agreements on top of that,” said Chalupa.
“That might have to go away,” said Mayor Brad Roth.
“That probably should go away,” agreed council member Greg Rich.
“You shouldn’t be allowed on budget if you aren’t even going to pay,” stated council member Kevin Fort.
With several people not paying the budgeted amount they agreed upon, the city clerk’s staff came up with a solution.
“Bev and I talked and we think after winter is over, we are going to start taking people off of budget and send them a letter letting them know we are taking them off of budget because they haven’t been a consistent payer,” said Chalupa.
The council agreed that it would be best to remove the delinquent accounts from the budgeted payment plan.
“It is in your policy that you can terminate if they don’t pay,” stated City Attorney Mike Vance.
The council also:
Discussed the annexation for the new industrial park.
Agreed to send Randy Morrow and Barry Leichty to Iowa Rural Water Association annual conference for continuing education.

The next meeting will be at Wayland City Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 16.

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