City Resident Questions Cut-off Procedures

A local resident asks the Toccoa City Commission to contact its customers before cutting off their utilities.

Philip Teasley spoke to city commissioners Monday.

He said that he feels that the city could save a lot of time and help people by calling people who have not paid their bills to remind them before cutting off their water and gas service.

“I just think that you may want to think to see if you can have someone to make courtesy calls,” said Teasley. “I know the cable company used to do it. Toccoa Clinic does it. You can even get a machine that will call people.”

Vice-Mayor Andy Pavliscsak said he agrees with what Teasley is saying.

“You issue the bill, the bill is due at 20 days after the billing date, and from that 21st to that cut-off date, we do not do anything,” said Pavliscsak. “That is where I have a problem with it. I have always had that problem with it and I continue to have that problem with it.”

Meanwhile, City Commissioner Gail Fry noted that the city used to contact people.

“They used to hang things on people’s doors, but they said people got so angry because people saw those things hanging on doors, they stopped doing it,” said Fry.

City Manager Mike Jackson said that the city would look into it.

Meanwhile, Teasley also says he feels cutting a customer off 30 days after their billing date, rather than 35 days as the city used to, might be a little quick.

Starting this month, the city of Toccoa shortened the amount of time before which a customer becomes delinquent on his or her account from 35 days following the billing date to 30 days.

Jackson said the policy change is designed to try and address issues with delinquent utility accounts by getting payments in quicker.

City officials noted again on Monday that people who are having trouble paying their utility bill or have other questions or concerns can contact the city’s customer service department to work out a payment arrangement.