My topic this week is collection oversight at 222 Meigs Street.
It seems the city has decided to finally take action on a landlord for non-payment of a water bill at a trailer court. Fifty thousand dollars is owed to the city over a five-year period, which the city will probably never see. Since when does the city allow a water bill for anyone to go unpaid for five years? How many more accounts are years behind from being collected?
In the past, the city has opted to charge the water debt to the landlord’s property taxes. The property taxes, as reported, are delinquent by $293,500. The back taxes owed should tell the city that different measures needed to be taken to collect what is owed, but the city kept tacking the debt amount onto the property taxes without really addressing the problem until five years later. The landlord has been on the city’s radar for several years so the city should have known better then to allow an unpaid water bill to go for even a year let alone five years.
The city states they have a revenue problem. If the city would just collect what it is owed, it would be surprised as to how much untapped revenue has been allowed to accumulate. Can you imagine what the city could do with $50,000?
How sad for the twenty-eight families who need to be relocated. Relocating the families will no doubt cause a financial hardship to them. We hope that the city will work with the tenants before the water is finally shut off.
Until next week, there has to be some accountability for opening up the water faucet and allowing the water to flow for five years before taking the situation in hand.