Joe P. Asher
The Harlan City Council is looking for ways to combat delinquent sewer bills. During a meeting Monday, Mayor Danny Howard made a proposal to the panel.
“I wanted to bring up something about the sewer,” said Howard. “Our problem with delinquencies has been trailer courts as far as collecting delinquencies for sewer. That has been the majority of our delinquencies. The reason for that is people have a tendency to be more transient. They just move off and owe us a bill. The water company has the same problem.”
According to Howard some tenants will move away owing a bill, then open another account in somebody else’s name.
“I would like to bring before council a proposition that because of the nature of the mobile home parks and those people having a tendency to be more transient to implement the owner of the trailer court be responsible for collection of the sewer (bill). Because they’re the ones making the money off of it, and we’re providing the service and not getting paid,” said Howard.
Council member Croley Forester suggested requiring a deposit instead.
“That would seem to be better than putting the property owner on the line for somebody not being a good tenant,” said Forester. “That way the person that’s actually running out on the bill is the one paying the money.”
Forester said it is not fair to hold a property owner responsible for the bill.
“I would think a deposit would take care of most of that,” said Forester.
Howard said he “could work something up” utilizing a deposit.
“It’s really not fair for us to be paying those deadbeat portions of the sewer (bills) and we are,” said Howard.
After some discussion, the council decided any deposit would have to be applied to all new hookups.
Harlan City Treasurer Charles Guyn suggested a deposit of $50 would be sufficient.
Howard said he would confer with the city attorney to work out the details before asking the council to make a decision.
In other council activity:
* Harlan City Fire Chief Linette Hutchison reported her department conducted 27 commercial inspections, two residential inspections and responded to four calls. The department also undertook 123 man hours of training;
* Harlan Police Chief Mike Thomas reported Harlan City Police logged 12,356 miles patrolled, received 3,768 calls, filed 15 case reports and 24 accident reports. The department issued 122 citations and performed 41 arrests. Thomas also reported his department has put two new cruisers into service with two more expected to be delivered soon.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com