Dothan Utilities looks to change debt collection procedures

(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Dothan utilities is looking to enforce stricter debt collection procedures. A vote on proposed changes is expected at the next city commission meeting.

Changes to the current utility code would allow the city to shut off services for customers with delinquent accounts over 28 days late.

As of now, customers are allowed to accrue up to $250 in debt and pay minimum payments to avoid going over the threshold and keeping service. Because of this, the $250 is never being paid off in most cases.

"If you consider the fact that we have 36,000 customers and say if only half those customers carry that $250 balance, you can imagine how much that would be on our book that we're never collecting. It's close to a little over $4 million dollars," said Lisa Reeder, City of Dothan Finance Director.

If the city commission approves changes to the utility code, they won't happen overnight. The city plans to work with customers and make the transition as easy as possible.

The next city commission meeting is scheduled for March 21. The public is invited to attend to address any questions or concerns.

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