The Saratoga Sun -

Whittling down the list

UPRSWDD discusses billing system, late payments to district

 

December 9, 2020



The Upper Platte River Solid Waste Disposal District (UPRSWDD) met on December 2 at the Platte Valley Community Center in order to discuss ongoing matters involving the landfill. Following the site reports, the board decided to talk and finalize what they were going to do about the past due accounts. Over the past few months, the district has been struggling with people failing to pay their dues on time, with some not paying for over four months.  

To begin, Ellie Dana-Raymer gave a report to the board, first talking about the efforts of the district to reduce delinquent accounts. Through reminders, and board member Sue Jones talking to customers, they were able to get an uptick in payments this month. Dana-Raymer then discussed late fees, stating they have collectected $2,320 in late fees to date.

“We didn’t really want the money, we only wanted people to pay,” Dana-Raymer said.

She also elaborated on the late fee policy, stating there are many reasons as to why late fees could be waived, such as a snowstorm preventing the account from being paid on time. Chairman Randy Raymer expressed later in the meeting that the late fees existed solely to incentivize payment and cover the cost of rebilling. Most late fees are waived by the district.

Dana-Raymer also stated the past due accounts have stabilized, with the number of accounts not increasing since the last month. The board is currently printing around 800 postcards for billing, with 350 emails. Currently, there are 44 people that are 90 days past due, and 88 that are 30 days past due, a significant decrease from the past few months. She finalized by talking about their new autopay system that people can opt into.  

Next in the report, she stated the research they did for the cancelation and termination process the board could perform. Last meeting, Jones had asked that the board conduct some legal research. After contacting the State Department of Audit, it was learned the district can choose whether or not to charge a convenience fee, as well as choose to write off bad debts.

According to the department, the district can also decide to deny service. However, they had no stance on whether it would impact the private haulers.

To end the report, Dana-Raymer recommended the board implement a policy that would deny service to accounts that are 90 days past due.

Jones then spoke, saying she was unable to get any legal advice. Raymer stated that in his research there was no state statute that disallows denial of service. He then expressed that the policy of just letting the past due accounts roll over to the next month was a poor practice that remained from the Town of Saratoga’s billing system.

“They never discontinued service, they never reported delinquent accounts” he stated, adding that there have never been any consequences for not paying.

The board then discussed at length about what to do about the past due accounts. After the board was done, Raymer presented a resolution that would terminate service for anyone who hasn’t paid in 120 days. This includes the commercial haulers, preventing them from collecting trash from these people. In order for them to resume service, they will need to pay back their dues in full. Some minor edits were made regarding verbiage, but the resolution passed.

The board also discussed possible avenues of repercussion for people using other’s trash cans, which is against state statute. This is a huge issue in many parts of the town, however the board did not make any motion regarding it.

Finally, the district’s fiscal policy was discussed and it was determined what they have now is sufficient.

The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on January 6 at the Riverside Town Hall.

 

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