Board to collect from sewage customers who haven’t paid

SALINEVILLE-Two sewer customers who do not use the village-owned sewage system but have agreed to pay a minimum usage rate, are delinquent on their bills.

The Board of Public Affairs voted Monday to move forward with plans to send the two customers notices, advising them that their water will be shut off if they do not pay the outstanding balance of their bill.

Board members explained the two customers in question are unique among village sewer customers, as both are tapped into to the village water system but neither are hooked up to the village sewer system. Board members claim that, at some point, both customers agreed to pay a minimum usage rate.

The two customers, who live on Foundry Hill Road and Old Monroeville Road, respectively, stopped paying their sewage bills while the village was involved in a lawsuit with Buckeye Water District in 2011. During the lawsuit, Buckeye refused to provide the village with sewage customers’ water usage data, thereby forcing the village to estimate customers’ sewer usage.

During Monday’s meeting, board President James Brammer read aloud a letter from village solicitor Andy Beech. The letter, dated Sept. 22, 2013, was in response to the board’s request for his legal opinion regarding the matter of the two delinquent customers. Beech’s letter concluded that the two delinquent customers should be treated the same as any other sewage account holder.

“Follow the same procedure to turn off their water and if that doesn’t work, certify their accounts with the county auditor,” Brammer read. “Whether or not they are hooked up to the village sewage system is relevant since, I presume, your sewer rates are based on water usage which is generally the case in all municipalities.”

Board members voted unanimously to send a final notice, warning the customers their water will be shut off if they do not, at least, make payments on their sewage bill. Board members noted the customers will have the option of scheduling a hearing with the village arbitrator to arrange a payment program.

“They should have that option because everybody does,” said Board vice president Curtis Taggert.

In other business, the board announced sewer clerk Kayla Taggert will keep new hours from Feb. 3 to March 10. The hours she will be 5-6 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at village hall.