Pasco Water Delinquent FeesPosted: Updated:
PASCO, Wash. - A change in Pasco water fees is upsetting some city customers, but city staff claim it's nothing new.
In Pasco, if you're behind on your bill and the city threatens shut off your water. If you don't pay off your balance soon enough, you still might have to pull out fifty bucks, even though no one turned your water off.
That's exactly what Virla Spencer said happened to her Wednesday morning. She said she paid off her delinquent balance, but the city staffer pulled back her receipt and said in her case she still owes 50 dollars.
"Well in this case I'm not going to pay you the fifty bucks," said Spencer.
City officials said around three years ago the city decided to combine its reconnect fee and delinquent fee. So even though your water may still be running, you owe the city for cutting it too close.
"The contractor goes out to wherever he's going to do the delinquent shut off and even if he's right there to turn off the knob we still have to pay him," said Jim Chase, Financial Manager, City of Pasco.
KNDU told Spencer she's got a couple weeks after the city sends a past due notice. But she said it's the principle she doesn't agree with.
"When she told me it goes into a fund for their employees to have to go in and get the work order, and use the paper, and make the phone call. That's a bit ridiculous. I refuse to pay somebody's pocket," said Spencer.
But city staff said they not forcing customers to pay bogus costs.
"If a customer is having a hard time making ends meet, maybe we could work with them on making weekly payments or doing something to help get their bill paid," said Chase.
To avoid late fees altogether, staff recommend customers pay their bills on time.
If you're behind on your bill, and have a question about your account, you can call Pasco Customer Service at 545-3488.