If you’re late paying your water bill, the meter shut-off fee is going up — but you also have more days to pay before that shut-off occurs.


If you’re late paying your water bill, the meter shut-off fee is going up — but you also have more days to pay before that shut-off occurs.
At its meeting Tuesday night, the Newton City Commission adopted a new ordinance governing the city’s water meter shut-off procedures.
Before the new ordinance, customers would have 20 days from the date their bill was rendered to pay before a delinquency notice was issued. The customer would then have five days to pay the bill before service was disconnected, and there would be a shut-off fee of $15.
Now, customers still have 20 days to pay before they are issued a delinquency notice, but they will have 10 days following the delinquency notice before service is disconnected. The shut-off fee is being raised to $60.
Suzanne Loomis, city engineer/director of public works, said the rate is going up because the former fee for disconnection/reconnection to the water system did not reflect actual costs.
Even with the increase, the rate still is cheaper than some other communities. The city of Bel Aire charges $150, said Lunda Asmani, assistant city manager for budget and finance.
Loomis stated last month there were 150 shut-offs. Most delinquent bills are paid the day following shut-off.
“We’re trying to hear those customers that really have an issue ... and give some extra days on that,” Loomis said.