City council discussed at Monday’s meeting an option to extend the warning period before shutting off home utilities of residents who are behind on bills if the person has a medical necessity that requires electricity or water.
“Normally we give a 10 day period after we send a notice and at the end of that 10 days we pull the plug,” city administrator Larry Paine said. “So what we are doing is adding an additional 20 days, for a total of 30, before we pull the plug. That gives us time to chase them down and find a way for them to pay so they will be current.”
A person has to have a medical provider’s letter of necessity in order to qualify for the extension.
“Without that, they are on the 10-day list,” Paine said. “They can’t just call and say ‘I have this need.’”
Council member Bob Watson asked if the 30 days could be extended for rare situations. Paine said yes, but the council would have to hear and approve an appeal.
“When they ask for more time, the hole gets deeper,” Paine said, “so we don’t want to do that too much.”
The council approved the resolution unanimously.
In other business:
- Council approved a minimum six-month moratorium on connecting alternative power sources, such as wind towers, to the city’s electric grid. The moratorium will allow time to develop a policy to address net metering issues.
- Council approved a notice from McPherson Area Solid Waste that upped the 2017 recycling fee from $2.34 to $2.35 per month for refuse utility subscribers.
- A quitclaim deed transferring a portion of land from the city to Countyside Feed was approved.