Late fees reduced

Blackshear residents owing late fees on their water bill won’t groan as loudly next month.

At Mayor Kevin Grissom’s request, the city council approved a resolution reducing the late fee from 25 percent to 10 percent last week. The reduction will take effect July 10.

Grissom told council members at a work session earlier this month he felt the 25 percent late fee was out of line with what other municipalities charge and needed to be reduced.

Late fees accrue when city water and sewer customers do not pay their bill by the 10th of each month. Fees were suspended for several weeks recently due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The resolution also incentivizes customers to continue making payments on time. According to the resolution, all customers who make on-time payments for a period of 12 consecutive months will receive an account credit equal to 50 percent of their security deposit, approximately $75.

Customers should look for the credit to appear on their July 2021 bill – one year after the new resolution is implemented.