River Falls: Pay water bill on time or face fines

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Residents in River Falls who typically pay their water bills late will be subject to cutoff and additional fees beginning in the April billing cycle.

Shane Cook, water superintendent, asked the council to make changes to its policy of how it handles delinquent accounts.

Currently, the town places “blue tags” or reminders before the 18th of each month.

“They aren’t coming to you telling you to pay your other bills,” Cook said. “And the majority are repeats.”

Cook and Town Clerk Maryanne Andrews said that the town is averaging between 50 and 70 delinquent accounts each month. The town has around 300 meters.

“I think we need to phase out the blue tags and enforce the cutoff date,” Cook said. “We need to get better track and stop holding their hands.”

The council agreed to begin the new strategy during the April billing cycle.

Now, those who do not pay their bills by the 18th of the month will be locked out and will have to pay a reconnection fee.

The first time, the fee will be $50 to reconnect and the customer will have to pay the entire outstanding bill.

After that it will be $75 plus the outstanding bill.

Additionally the council agreed to a $150 fee if the town places a lock on the meter and the customer cuts it to use services. With the new water meters, there is a data log for the amount of water consumed.

The town also voted to give the first log free but to charge $25 for each additional requested log to prevent abuse of the system.

Residents will receive letters about the changes in their next bills.