"We're getting a little more money for capital improvement as well as staying below the cost of moving into surrounding cities," Dowell said.
The city council has been working for weeks to revamp the city's ordinance governing fees. Councilors in late May approved raising late payment penalties from
City leaders will soon tackle the portion of the ordinance dealing with connections declared abandoned. Dowell has proposed what he calls a dormant fee, requiring people who shut off their water but ask for it to be reconnected before a 24-month time period to pay half the base fee of
It's a sore spot for Dowell, who didn't mince his words when talking about the situation. He estimates about 30 to 40 houses in town that are currently unoccupied, meaning residents who do pay into the system are footing a higher portion of the bill -- and the city isn't getting revenue from property owners that still have to pay taxes on that property.
"All I'm trying to propose is for these property owners to pay their fair share. I don't care if the bank owns the property, I don't care if it's the President. They need to pay their fair share," Dowell said. "If you want to live in
"I understand we're a low income community, but that's a heck of a lot of money we're not getting," Dowell said. "The last thing I want to do is raise rates, but if we don't do something in order to get these homes paying a bit, we might not have a choice but to do so."
City council is expected to discuss the proposal at their next meeting
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