Town considering grace period for water bill payment

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Town council is considering giving residents a little more time to pay their latest water/sewer bill without penalty.

Since the 3rd invoices were sent out there has been a great public outcry over the hike in rates. During Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor Pat Kiely made a point of taking some time to address the situation and explain how the bills are calculated.

At the end of his address councillors spoke on the issue, including Patrick Adams who came up with the idea for a possible grace period of 60 days for the late fee.

“There was a lot of feedback as to how high the water bills came in due to it being retroactive. I think it is only fair that we give the residents a chance to at least to pay them and not have to penalize them if they were to be late especially with the number of citizens that are on a fixed income.

“It is important that, as councillors, we represent the people and take those considerations seriously.”

During Kiely’s address he spoke not only about the number of people that have contacted town hall since they received their bills, but what he described as the verbal abuse the frontline staff has been taking.

“It’s not fair to the staff”, stated the mayor. “They don’t make these decisions. They are just doing their day to day duties that they normally do. They shouldn’t have to take abuse from anybody”, Kiely added.

Adams agreed saying feedback is welcomed but the way in which staff has been addressed is unacceptable.

“Some were ruthless and certainly unfair to the staff since that wasn’t their decision it was council’s decision. We need to be able to debate things in a positive manner.”

It should be noted that for this type of scenario to occur, a special meeting has to be called. During the meeting Mayor Kiely said he would be looking at making the arrangements as quickly as possible.

The due date for the 3rd installment is August 29th.