Jeffersonville shutting off water for customers with delinquent - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Jeffersonville shutting off water for customers with delinquent sewer bills

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some people in Jeffersonville are are finding out what it is like to live without running water after service was shut off earlier this week.

If you live in Jeffersonville and have received a notice from the city that your water is going to be shut off, take it seriously.

In December of 2013, the city council approved an ordinance allowing the city to disconnect delinquent customers. The new tactic is in response to more than $1 million in uncollected sewer bills. Of 15,000 customers, the city's billing department says 9,000 were delinquent on their sewer bills when the program started.

The first round of shut-offs started May 5. That's when seven customers lost their water service when they didn't respond to a notice giving them 10 days to pay or make arrangements to pay. A total of 25 shut-off notices had been sent.

Jeffersonville's utility bill manager Elisha Dale says the city is working with the customers who responded to the notices.

"We got it down to promissory notes and payments, and there were only seven people that we had to turn off this week," Dale said. "So that was good, only seven people out of the list of 25. So they know that we're serious."

According to the billing department, the total amount of money owed to the city was more than $1.5 million. That number is now down to about  $896,000.

Previously, the city punished delinquent customers by putting a tax lien on their home. However, Dale says, that tactic just wasn't working. Especially, she says, because rental tenants weren't affected by the lien so they would let the bills go unpaid.

"The landlords were left with that balance, and we were attacking the landlords, when actually it's the tenants that use the services," she said. "Landlords are happy with this program."

Once a customer's water is shut off, they must pay the bill in full, plus a $65 re-connection fee. Dales says people have been coming up with creative ways to prevent the city from delivering the shutoff notice, including removing their door knobs.

But that won't stop the city from posting the notice and ultimately shutting off the water.

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