Queenstown considers cutoffs for delinquent water, sewer bills
QUEENSTOWN — Has the time come for the town of Queenstown to consider turning off water and sewer service to residents who are delinquent in making payments in a timely fashion?
The town commissioners discussed the matter at their meeting on Wednesday, March 23 and agreed to explore it further. According to Town Clerk Amy Moore, some customers haven’t paid their water and sewer bills since December. In such instances, those cases are advertised in the newspapers prior to being referred to the tax court for a possible tax sale but that has happened only rarely, said Commissioner Mike Bowell.
“I definitely think we need something to keep this in front of people’s heads. We need something that will give them the incentive to get this done right. I hate to have to go to tax court...but unpaid bills deprive us of cash flow,” Bowell said.
“We probably need to have a hard and fast rule,” said Commissioner George Plumbo. “After X number of days, we’re shutting you off, and make it part of the procedure.”
Tom Willis, president of the commissioners, said he wants to keep things as friendly as possible and not get away from the “personal part” of dealing with the residents of a town as small as Queenstown.
“I personally don’t think it’s going to be cut and dried, and you’re going to have to look at each case individually,” he said. “Somebody might have been sick, somebody might be on a fixed income and can’t afford to pay much of anything. Somebody’s going to have to look at each and every one of them.”
He suggested that a committee be created to consider each case individually.
Bowell said other small municipalities face similar situations and “I’m sure there’s precedent from all kinds of towns on the Eastern Shore that have some sort of device to get it done.”