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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Consider this your final notice: that's the word from Jeffersonville city leaders Tuesday afternoon after approving plans to shut off water service for customers behind on their sewer bills.
Today, we're learning when the first homes will be without water.
Handfuls of cash poured into the Jeffersonville Utility office Tuesday morning. Jeffersonville Utility Billing Manager Elisha Dale made it her mission when she took over billing a year ago to bring outstanding sewer bills in Jeffersonville up-to-date.
"If you're 90 days and $100 past due, your water will be shut off," she said.
Now, even if your water bill is current, your water service can be interrupted if you sewer bill isn't paid because the two utilities are tied together.
Roger Caldwell, a Jeffersonville landlord, came to pay $379. He owns 60 properties, including a house on 9th Street.
"The new law is going to be great for landlords," Caldwell said. "In the past with a rental property, the tenants refused to pay their sewer bill, they just disregard it."
Delinquent customers will get a 10-day advanced shutoff notice in the mail. City leaders won't reveal the exact date, but say the first shutoffs are expected within 30 days.
"We've collected $700,000 from about 2,000 customers," Dale said.
The city is cracking down before sewer bills triple in 2015 to pay for mandated federal improvements. $1.2 million is still outstanding from 2,000 customers.
The new ordinance barley passed Jeffersonville's city council, 5-4. Jeffersonville City Councilman Matt Owen voted against it, saying the shutoff contract is only with the city's majority provider, Indiana American Water.
"We can't treat residents differently in the city based on where they live," Owen said. "So if you live downtown and don't pay your sewer bill, you're going to get your water cut off, but if you live on the outskirts in the east end and you don't pay your sewer bill, there's just a tax lien put on your property."
No matter where they live, Caldwell just hopes to no longer be stuck with his residents' bills
"You can't survive without water," Caldwell said.
Dale said she will work out payments with past due customers, but those who do not make any attempt pay will have their water shut off.