MITCHELL HEIGHTS, W.Va. — Members of the Mitchell Heights Town Council discussed the ongoing problem of people who are behind in payment on their garbage bills at their monthly January 23 meeting.
Councilmembers noted that there are several individuals who are behind in their bills a year or more and recommended that until they pay up and get current on those bills that the service be cut off for those homes.
Mayor James “Cliff” Motes said letters had gone out about that matter and other problems including the habit some people had of putting out too many garbage cans and bags for pick up and items which were too heavy or not appropriate.
“There are some items the dump will not take,” explained Town Clerk Vicky Hale.
“We have a serious problem with delinquent bills,” Mayor Motes said adding that he felt people who were several hundred dollars behind needed to have their garbage pick ups completely cut off until they had paid up what they owed. He pointed out that in the past many who had gotten behind in their bills had made partial payments and demanded the service be returned. However many of them did not get current on the bills after the initial partial payments.
Councilman Justin Brown noted that when you get behind at Suddenlink on your television or internet bills they cut your service off and do not turn your services back on for partial payments.
Town Clerk Vicky Hale agreed, pointing out, “If you don’t pay them in full what you owe, you don’t get it turned back on.” She said Suddenlink would accept a partial payment but wanted the whole debt paid up before services were turned back on.
Councilman Brown said he also felt that people who owed $300 or more should have to get their bills paid up to date or have their services cut off. Mayor Motes said that would be his motion to the council.
Brown pointed out the town has to pay for the hourly wages of a garbage man, it also has to pay workers compensation for him and liability insurance on the garbage truck and that if the town did not get paid it would go in the hole.
“We have expenditures,” Brown said.
Unlike other municipalities which combine garbage fees in with city or town service fees Mitchell Heights seperates the two.
“Our whole system may need to be revamped,” Mayor Motes said, noting for the time being letters would be sent out to notify people who were far behind in their bills they needed to pay or have their service cut off until they do. He pointed out that people who claim that they are taking their garbage off themselves or disposing of it in other ways need to present proof of that to the town.
“These delinquencies have to be paid. Until the balance is paid up and current there will be no pick ups for violators.”
Councilmembers also discussed setting up a system to accept credit card payments for garbage.
The next meeting of the council will be on February 27 at 7 p.m.
J.D. Charles is a freelance writer for Civitas Media and a former reporter for the Logan Banner.