City wont charge for delinquent utility bills
June 10, 2008 · Updated 6:03 PM
POULSBO The checks were in the mail, really.
But somewhere on the way from point A to point B there was an unscheduled drop off at point C. Confused?
So were some 75 Poulsbo residents who mailed checks to the city for water, sewer and garbage on time but still received a notice of delinquent payment. Soon after city hall sent the notices, staff there got an earful.
The checks had been sent, customers asserted, and while such snafus are not unheard of on a small scale 75 calls later, the city had no choice but to reconsider.
Knowing that wasnt our fault or our customers fault we decided to give them an extension until Feb. 20, explained finance director Donna Bjorkman, citing the finance committees recommendation made last Wednesday on the matter.
Delinquent notices were initially mailed to the customers on Jan. 20, she added. Payments postmarked after the twentieth of each month typically incur a 10 percent penalty, Bjorkman said, noting that this additional cost would not be sought.
This is not a gift of public funds, she told the committee. We dont want to penalize customers who actually paid on time.
So, this is unprecedented? councilman Ed Stern asked.
Yes, Bjorkman responded.
But city hall isnt the only Jensen Way business that is coming up blank on the matter, according to the finance director.
We called the Post Office and they couldnt give us an answer, she said. (The checks) havent cleared the banks, either.
The citizens have since been contacted and asked to stop payment on the original January checks.
Theyre lost now but they may still show up, Bjorkman said.