The Sewerage & Water Board does not plan to shut off water for around 17,000 customers all at once, but a staff of 13 field investigators could stop service for up to 50 delinquent customers a day in the coming weeks, according to utility officials who spoke Wednesday (Aug. 1) via conference call.So I guess that's a pretty good rate when you do the math. Imagine how many they could do if there weren't 500 something vacant positions over there. There wouldn't be a "bad actor" left in town by the end of the week. What's really interesting here is it also says they "will make every effort to restore service the same day if an account is resolved by 2:30 p.m." which means either that these meters go in faster than they come out or that they just aren't expecting a lot of people to pay up at once. That's good, in a way, because, wow that sure would be a lot to process.
Delinquent customers with the highest outstanding balances will be prioritized when scheduling shut-offs, Rainey said. Officials have said around 17,000 customers are late on their bills, totaling nearly $22 million owed.Okay but the moratorium happened for a reason. And that reason is everybody's bill is so screwed up that it's hard to see any claim of delinquency as legitimate. So it's still pretty shitty to go make everybody come in and haggle on a case by case basis.
"This is the normal collections process," Rainey said. "This is the way the agency worked before the moratorium, this is the way the agency works now and this is the way it will work going forward."
Customers can still dispute their bills within the 10-day window after receiving a delinquency letter, Rainey said. He noted that each problematic bill has to be disputed separately.What would happen if everybody just refused to pay?