Harvey, Chicago settle water bill dispute, Homewood awaits report on water system

Flossmoor residents who are tardy in paying village water and sewer bills are now eligible for a waiver of late fee penalties once every 10 years.

Village board members Tuesday approved a change in Flossmoor’s water and sewer bill penalty waiver policy. Previously, the policy stated that residents were entitled to one penalty waiver during the life of the account.

In December, Mayor Paul Braun suggested that a change in the policy might be appropriate. He pointed out that a 30-year resident who previously used the waiver is not eligible for a second late fee break, but someone who has lived in the village for a much shorter time may still have the option of a waiver. He asked staff to investigate a possible change in the waiver policy.

Late charges for delinquent water and sewer accounts are set at 10 percent of the current bill. Flossmoor has 3,763 water and sewer accounts and one accounting clerk who is responsible for managing them.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Finance Director Scott Bordui said changing to a once-every-10-years waiver system would lead to an incremental workload impact in administering the new policy. Due to software limitations, additional waivers would need to be tracked by entering notes or comments in the master record under customer maintenance.

“This is a manual task which would require us to enter a date and number of penalty waivers taken,” Bordui wrote in a memo to the board. Previously, he said, accounts with late fee waivers were marked with an asterisk. Most, but not all of the waivers, were recorded by date.

The policy change passed by a  5-1 margin, with Braun and Trustees James Mitros, Diane Williams, James Crum and Phil Minga voting to make the change. Trustee Perry Hoag voted against the new policy.

Bordui said Thursday that the new policy went into effect immediatly after the board vote. That means residents who are late with their water bills can now ask for the once-a-decade waiver of penalty charges.

“We haven’t figured out how to implement the policy,” he said. “But we will work out the details.”

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