Tuesday night, the Waterford Utility Commission agreed to drop the idea of biannual sewer billing, instead of quarterly billing.
Waterford Utility Commission Chairman Peter Green suggested the commission look into the concept, as it would potentially cut down on postage and the commission’s workload. But both fellow commissioners and the utility commission staff agreed it was a bad idea.
“I think the main concern is that we sort of trained our customers to the quarterly-billing process,” Green said. “There is a concern that the size of the bills will be a problem.”
The bills customers would receive would be twice as big as they were used to if the commission went to biannual billing, Green said. The staff was concerned that would cause problems, as customers would be calling to complain, Utility Commission Chief Engineer Neftali Soto said.
“I talked to the staff, and they said they didn’t have any problem with (billing) four times a year,” Soto said. “We can live with that.”
Meanwhile, the commission agreed it was time to give customers the opportunity to pay their sewer bills online. Green said Waterford’s tax department already allows people to pay their taxes online.
“Apparently a lot of customers want this convenience,” Green said. “I think we have to move forward with this.”
Soto said the customer would likely have to pay a fee to pay online. Green said that is okay, and said he hopes the feature is up-and-running for the July sewer bills.
The Waterford Utility Commission is struggling to get payments from its customers. In a presentation to the Representative Town Meeting in February, Green said 20 percent of Waterford customers are late on their sewer bills.