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City lightens policy on delinquent water bills

December 29, 2017 – The City of Excelsior Springs is relaxing its policy on delinquent water bills to ease the burden in what is easily one of the largest complaints among residents.

The city council’s passing of Ordinance 17-12-09 on Monday, Dec. 18 amends the current ordinance that requires a resident to pay the entire amount due on their bill before water will be reconnected. The new ordinance will require only the amount past due and not the entire water bill be paid in order to reconnect. The ordinance only affects the collection policy of customers as it relates to disconnected utilities.

Administrative Services Director Steve Marriott explained that the change is to help relieve the burden some residents face when having their water disconnected and to address one of the largest complaints the city receives.

“Many times, people will show up to the city with a $100 to have their water connected only to find out they owe $235 for the past due and the current amount,” Marriott explained. “They either didn’t realize they owed the entire amount or simply don’t have the entire amount at that time and go home angry and still without water.”

With the new ordinance, a resident can pay the delinquent amount, plus the city’s customary $35 reconnect fee and any possible increase in their deposit, to have their water restored. They no longer have to pay the current balance due until the actual due date.

To come to this decision, Marriott polled surrounding communities to see how they handled delinquent bill payments.

“I went online and studied several surrounding communities including Lawson, Liberty, Richmond and others. Excelsior Springs, in my opinion, fell right in the middle of these policies. Some were very strict, others not so strict,” Marriott said.

“We’re catching a lot of people who were away and just forgot to pay their water bills on time,” Councilwoman Sonya Morgan said. “This amendment will help those people out of their mistake.”

Morgan moved to approve the ordinance and Councilman Ambose Buckman seconded the motion. It was approved 4-0. Councilman Brent McElwee was absent from the council meeting.

By Samantha Kilgore •

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7 Responses to City lightens policy on delinquent water bills

  1. Bobbi Reply

    January 9, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    it is sad that a person can make a mistake and has paid 50 cents less than the bill states and their water is shut off. This has happened to my daughter in Excelsior. I mistakenly shorted my water bill .30 cents in Richmond, they did not shut my water off, the next bill they charged me a $5.00 late fee, they did not disconnect nor did they charge me a reconnect fee for a pittance that was shorted accidentally when I paid my bill. Very sad that the water dept. would shut water off for less than $5.00, then charge a 35.00 fee to reconnect for a .50 cent mistake.

  2. Amy Reply

    January 9, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    This isn’t great but do you still have to pay a higher deposit plus the reconnect fee or just the reconnect fee and your bill? It’s still kind of confusing.

    • Samantha Kilgore Reply

      January 10, 2018 at 11:23 am

      I would contact the Water Department for specific questions. Thanks!

  3. annonymous Reply

    January 9, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    I had a credit on my account from the prior month because I had submitted the amount due plus twenty or twenty five dollars. Although my account had a credit for a month because I still owed a balance of under twenty dollars my service was disconnected.
    Being a single mother having to produce atleast two hundred dollars to reconnect was challenging.
    Not to mention everytime your service was disconnected the deposit would increase.
    My opinion City of Excelsior Springs know the citizens do not have any other option and the city breaks it off in people.
    I assume one could argue the customer should be punctual when payments are due.
    The city hasnt always been on top of conditions which endanger locals.
    Glad to see the citizens get some relief from the water department.
    They sure dont mind taking peoples homes because of a code violation in order to gain property for their lovely projects.
    Since the flood of 1993 when FEMA granted our city a large amount of funds. The city owns damn near all of Excelsior.
    It seems the city is corrupt and money hungry trying the take over even if its to manipulate the system to force individual property owners to forfeit their property because the code violations that are constantly a financial burden.
    I understand if a neighbor complains but when the city nit picks property owners is down right bull crap.

  4. Carrie Reply

    January 9, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Let’s hope this is a start to getting sewer for all residents within the city limits! Maybe hope after many years

  5. Kathy Marcum Reply

    January 10, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    I would like to know why the sewer rates are so high, it is double what my actual water usage is. When I called they said it is a percentage of my water, so why is my water $60 and my sewer cost $116.00. Does y make sense to my and the lady you call at the hall of waters is about as hateful as one can be.its ridiculous for my water bill to be $175 for 2 people, we have replaced faucets, toilet stoppers, etc and have no leaks but like I said it’s the sewer cost not my actual water, what the heck is the percentage!

  6. Mary Reply

    January 12, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    I agree with Kathy Marcus and “anonymous”, my water bill for 2 people (who work fulltime and not at home the majority of the time) exceeds $100.00 a month and I was told the water was being used by “somebody” wasn’t the city’s fault.

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