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Water to be cut off for residents delinquent on sewer fees

1 year 6 months 2 weeks ago May 28, 2015 May 28, 2015 Thursday, May 28 2015 May 28, 2015 5:27 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Chris Nakamoto

ST. GABRIEL- Residents who are delinquent on their sewer user fees will find their taps running dry on July 1.

Mayor Lionel Johnson said he's given residents in the city fair warning. Over the past few years, the Investigative Unit has showed you unpaid sewer fees have accounted for nearly $227,000 in money that is owed to the city.

Patricia Arnold is one of those residents who owes nearly $1,100 in sewer fees. She claims it was tough to make ends meet which is why she didn't pay.

"It was rough because I was working on and off and everything," Arnold said. "It was kind of rough. I have someone helping me now."

Arnold said she realized she owed the city a lot of money, but didn't want to risk losing her water.

"I need my water to wash, clean, cook, everything," she said.

There are currently 1,005 active sewer accounts. Nearly $227,000 is owed to the city.

"Ultimately it falls on the city," Mayor Lionel Johnson said. "We have to take money from our general fund and pay for our sewer fund."

It costs nearly $1 million to operate the sewer system. Over the past few years, the city was only averaging $130,000 in collections from people who were paying their bills.

"Come July 1, those who have not contacted us or made any arrangements to pay their bills, their names will be submitted to the parish for termination of water services," Johnson warned.

The city is willing to put residents on a payment plan to settle their past due balances as long as they stay current with their most recent bills.

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