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City hopes to improve efficiency with electronic late fee notices

by HAYDEN BLACKFORD
Daily Inter Lake | November 22, 2022 12:00 AM

The Libby City Council voted on Nov. 3 to amend its water system rules and regulations in the hope of improving cost-efficiency.

The resolution allows the city to be able to send electronic delinquency notices instead of door hangers, if possible, to make it more cost-efficient.

According to the city, on average, 160 delinquency door hangers are hung by the Water Meter Crew every month. With technological advances and capabilities in computer systems, this will help save on time and material expenses.

Mayor Peggy Williams said it is in the best interest of the city and ratepayers that rules and regulations be reviewed on a regular basis.

City council voted to approve resolution 2009, an amendment to the City of Libby water rules and regulations. The change was made specifically to rule 16, No. 5.

The rule states that when payment becomes delinquent the water department shall give notice.

The department will share by one or more of the following means, including voicemail, text or email if the consumer has shared electronic information.

Or they will place a notice in a conspicuous place, Williams said.

The water department will impose a $10 late fee, which has been in place since 2001.

If the consumer has not remedied the delinquency in full within 14 days after the notice the water department will notify the customer that the water will be shut off within three business days, Williams said.

The water department is not liable if a customer doesn’t see electronic or written notice, or for the disappearance of a physical notice from the customer’s view.

The resolution was passed unanimously.