Utility bill reminder put back in place

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By Cindy Simpson

Rockwood customers will still get a friendly reminder to pay their utility bills.

Rockwood Water, Sewer and Gas Board revoked a recently established policy to eliminate penalty notices.

“I have recommended we keep the present policy in effect by going ahead and mailing out the penalty notices,” Mayor James Watts said.

“Sometimes our minds need to be jogged a little bit,” Councilwoman Peggy Evans said.

The utility did make a change to its policy not to cut off gas customers during the winter months.

Essentially based on the current policy the utility didn’t cut off nonpaying customers between November and March.  

“Why would anyone want to pay if they don’t have to?” asked interim utility manager Ron Berry.

He pointed out that some customers might decide to go months without paying and then move, leaving the months of past due utility bills unpaid.

The board instead agreed to change the policy to below 32 degrees, or freezing.

Berry said he’d tested the gas policy and cut off six people who had failed to pay.

“Within three hours, three of them came in to pay,” he said.