(10/16) As the economy has worsened,
it has become harder for the Town of Thurmont
to collect payments for water, sewer and
electricity that it has provided to residents.
If too many residents default on their
payments, the town will find it increasingly
harder to provide those services to other
Faced with this problem, Chief Financial
Officer Bill Blakeslee put together a list of
options the town as to improve its
“It sounds onerous but we’re not going to
improve our collections if we don’t do
something like that,” Blakeslee said during a
recent town meeting.
While the town is willing to work with
residents who are delinquent in their
payments, Blakeslee noted “the efforts to pay
in a lot of cases are not catching up to what
Among the options are:
- Make 50 percent of the past due bill paid to
avoid disconnection and 25 percent must be
paid one month later and the final 25 percent
one month. After that, the customer’s current
bill must be paid in addition to the
- Disconnecting homes of delinquent accounts
during the winter months after the appropriate
filings with the Public Service Commission.
- Putting unpaid water/sewer bills will be
submitted for tax sale in March with the sale
to occur in May.
- Doubling the security deposit required for
- Publishing the list of delinquent customers.
- Notifying customers with a past due notice
or disconnection notice.
“None of these things are very nice,”
Blakeslee said. “None of them are very
pleasant, but they will improve our
Mayor Martin Burns said he believed that if
the town could enact a system to accept credit
card payments, the number of delinquent
accounts would shrink.
Though Commissioner Ron Terpko said he had
a problem with some of the options, he added,
“I think we need to have this implemented as
soon as possible.”