Meridian Star

Local News

June 18, 2014

City extends due date on water, sewer bills

MERIDIAN —     City officials have taken steps to make it easier for customers to pay their water and sewer bills.

At a Meridian City Council meeting on Tuesday, the council unanimously voted to extend the time customers have before their bills are due.

    Mike McGrevey, chief administrative officer, said the move was in response to several citizens' requests and concern from both Ward 2 Councilman Dustin Markham and Ward 4 Councilwoman Kim Houston.

    "We took a look at the billing process and as it currently stands, a citizen has to pay the water bill 10 business days after the billing date," McGrevey said. "We moved it out to 17 business days. Throwing in weekends — from the time you get your bill you probably have about 23 calendar days to pay your bill."

    McGrevey said they hope this will help citizens who have to wait on their monthly paycheck before paying these bills.

     "We believe it will help the citizens in terms of reducing the number of people who have to pay the $5 late fee," McGrevey said. "We'll monitor this and if we have to tweak it a little further down the line we will but we hope this helps."

    The new policy will go into effect in 30 days, he said.

    The council also voted to refinance bond issues from 2003 and 2006, in hopes of bringing the payments down with a lower interest rate. Bond consultant Trey Hairston said he expects the city can save approximately $500,000 in interest.

    "Low rates. That's what we want," George Thomas, Ward 1 councilman said.

    The council also accepted a grant for Homeland Security for $75,000.

    In a program called "First to the Pool," children who swim at the Velma Young Park swimming pool will get some help paying their fees.

    Children who use the pool pay a dollar per day to swim there, according to Kelvin McGruder, director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

    Thanks to the donation of money from Friends of Velma Young Park, the first 20 children who arrive at the pool each day will swim for free. Children who arrive after the first 20 spots are taken may still swim, McGruder said, but they will have to pay the dollar fee.

    "There are between 25 and 30, 40 kids who swim there, depending upon what day it is," McGruder said. "What this will do will allow us to promote more swimming, more activity especially for kids in that area. Kids that can't afford to come swimming — this will encourage them to come out and swim."

    The pool is open 1-4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

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