By Paul Rhodes
CONWAY SPRINGS – City Council members agreed last week that it’s time to do something serious about delinquent water bills in the city of Conway Springs.
While the city council had discussed the problem previously, no protocol for collections had been actively pursued. Beginning now, collection efforts and payment plans will be ramped up by the city.
City officials noted that previous efforts to set up payment plans on delinquent bills had not had an impact.
“We definitely have a problem with this,” said Mayor Daryle Smith. In the end, the city council agreed to address the worst of the delinquent accounts immediately.
Actions will include sending out letters as soon as possible to those delinquent accounts, noting that customers must stay current on new bills and pay additional on old totals. If late on a payment, those customers will have their water shut off.
In addition to sending out letters, the city will place door hangers on those properties after five days, if there hasn’t been a response to the letters.
City officials indicated they are dealing with a number of delinquent accounts, and in some cases, large amounts of money that are owed.
In other business at last week’s meeting, the council:
• Heard an update from the Municipal Court Judge on new computer software that has been uploaded. Training is continuing.
• Agreed by consensus for the city clerk to fill out liability insurance paperwork.
• Heard a report from the Police Department on bids it is securing for security doors and updated recording equipment.
• Discussed a condemned property that is waiting on a sale to be completed. Council members will be updated at their next meeting.
• Noted that one of the older trucks in the Fire Department has a recall on it. The truck will be out of service for two to three weeks.
• Approved an agreement for the Maintenance Department totaling $3,135 with Hatch, an engineering and consulting company.
• Discussed bids for trucks and mowers for the Maintenance Department. The council wants to move on a truck as soon as possible, and agreed by consensus for Mayor Smith to give approval on a truck purchase and bring it back to the council.
• Discussed problems with security cameras at the brush dump, and instructed the Maintenance Department to replace the cameras if Teal Consulting, the company that put in the cameras, doesn’t respond to the problems.
• Approved setting up online payment of the city’s departmental credit cards.
• Discussed how comp time is being paid out, and instructed staff to clarify the process in the city’s employee regulations.
• Approved an amendment to a previous motion, making pay raises retroactive to the first of the year.
• Noted that the Conway Springs Chamber of Commerce will donate $1,000 to be used for one of the citywide cleanup dates this year. The cleanup dates have been set for May 7 and Oct. 1.
• Discussed water and sewer connections for a new building at Farmers Coop. If a separate meter is being installed, the council agreed that there would be a connection fee.