SALINEVILLE-The Salineville Board of Public Affairs has reached the limit of its patience with residents who will not pay money owed to the village for delinquent sewage bills.
BPA members made a motion to begin procedures to shut off the water to village residents with delinquent sewage bills and charge their outstanding balance to their property taxes. The village will send out bills beginning April 15 and shut off notices will be sent shortly thereafter, according to Mayor Mary Smith who was in attendance at Monday nights meeting.
According to the BPA's meeting minutes a total of $54,059 is owed to the village in delinquent sewage bills. BPA clerk Nancy Needham noted the figure is probably low because certain delinquent sewage customers were excluded from her tabulation.
"It's more than that (total) because I didn't count anything that was on taxes or inactive (accounts)." BPA members seemed somewhat shocked at the sheer amount the village was owed in delinquent bills. "I had no idea it was this much," said BPA President James Brammer of the $54,059, and the six page document listing delinquent sewage customer's names.
The board will proceed with its plan to shut off delinquent customers by coordinating with Buckeye Water District, who runs the village water system. Mayor Smith stressed that BPA members should maintain an open line of communication with Buckeye to ensure that anyone who pays their bill at the last moment won't have their water shut off.
Board members stated they are still willing to work with residents with delinquent bills if they contact the BPA immediately but they feel as though they have given residents fair warning.
"It's safe to say that 90 percent of these people know they're delinquent," said BPA president James Brammer. BPA clerk Nancy Needham noted that the village had sent residents with delinquent sewage bills letters in August of 2012 warning them to take action on their outstanding balance, and only about 20 people came to village hall to take care of their bill.
The meeting minutes stated that many accounts have not made a payment since . "The problem we're having is they're setting up payments, and they're supposed to keep payments every month as well as keep their current bill current, but its not happening, so they're actually in default already, and you can begin the shut-off process," said Mayor Smith.
This is the first time the current BPA has resorted to shutting off the water of delinquent residents, and board members seemed reluctant to take such drastic action. However, the board agreed that the situation had reached a critical point.
"It's a business: If you use the service you have to pay for it," said board Vice President Bud Taggart. The board urged residents with delinquent sewage bills to contact the sewer clerk at 330-679-0289 or stop by village hall Tuesday 5p.m. to 7p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. 11 a.m.