3/26/2021 11:54:00 AM Water and Light expects
water tower rehab bids in April
North Branch City Hall may have been closed for three days last week for repairs from an electrical mishap — but Water and Light Commissioners were able to hold their regular meeting in the council chambers March 17.
First order of business was to welcome new appointee Peter Schaps, who took his oath of office filling a vacancy on the five-member utility commission.
General Manager Scott Hautala reminded the utility commissioners of the approaching April 15 deadline for getting delinquent accounts onto a payment plan. He advised the commission that ALL customers received the disconnect payment plan notice, whether they are in arrears or not.
During the Governor’s Emergency Orders public utilities in the state are not empowered to collect penalty and late fees, and a number of Water and Light accounts have become overdue in the last year. The utility does have the power to disconnect, however, after a certain date.
The April 15 deadline to have a payment plan set-up was adopted by Water and Light.
The commission also discussed creating a new customer service subcommittee.
Under existing policy customers can appeal a bill to the General Manager.
Water and Light Chair Terry Smith felt there should be two commissioners on a subcommittee to sit in on these appeals sessions when needed. There is still the ability to appeal to the full utility commission.
The other commission members liked the idea of a subcommittee. The subcommittee policy and its two members will be items for action later. The commission also authorized Hautala to proceed with calling for bids for the west water tower rehabilitation.