Thomasville council approves start date for delinquent utility changes

Thomasville council members approve start date for delinquent utility changes

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Monday night, the Thomasville City Council voted to begin delinquency utility charges on April 1, 2021.

Thomasville Utilities has not demanded certain payment because of the pandemic for months. But that will stop in April.

“There is somebody somewhere that this is going to affect severely through no fault of their own, but it’s not always needed to pay your bills on time," said City Council member David Hufstetler.

City of Thomasville councilman David Hufstetler said "We don’t need the money." (Source: WALB)
City of Thomasville councilman David Hufstetler said "We don’t need the money." (Source: WALB)

One of the revisions to the utility code includes altering the $20 charge for unpaid utilities. In this proposal, late fees will now be a 7% charge for anyone up to $280.

The after-hours and late fee will also be altered from $12, so customers will not take advantage of it.

After months of discussion, Hufstetler believes this isn’t the right move to help families.

Thomasville Utilities has not demanded certain payment because of the pandemic for months. But that will stop in April.
Thomasville Utilities has not demanded certain payment because of the pandemic for months. But that will stop in April. (Source: WALB)

Council member Wanda Warren said there are plenty of resources available for those citizens who need assistance with their utilities.

“The hope is that there are zero persons affected by this. All the citizen has to do is make contact,” explained Warren.

Contacting the utility department is all she said a person needs to do to avoid delinquent fees.

“All they have to do is pick up the phone, make a call and say ‘I need some help. Can’t pay this right now.’ Arrangements can be made. This can be avoided," said Warren.

“If there is an issue and the pandemic continues, I will come back to you and suggest that we delay and stop the cutoffs and stop the late fees just like we did before," said City Manager Alan Carson.

“What we have been doing has worked. We don’t need the money. To me, it sends a message and it sends the wrong message," said Hufstetler.

Copyright 2020 WALB. All rights reserved.