Delinquent utility accounts, including water, sewer and solid waste, result in an estimated $22,000 annual revenue loss to village, according to village documents. Over an eight-year period starting in 2006, these delinquent accounts totaled more than $190,000.
Delinquent utility payments could lead to increased utility rates for all village residents, Yellow Springs Village Manager Patti Bates has said previously.
Overall, past-due utility accounts associated with owner-occupied homes account for a small percentage of village residents with delinquent utility accounts, according to village data.
Most of the delinquent accounts, about 75 percent, belong to renters who move out of the area.
In a report, Yellow Springs Finance Director Melissa Vanzant attributed the delinquent accounts to deaths, foreclosures, bankruptcies, abandoned homes, contractors using temporary utilities who leave town and renters who move out of town leaving balances on their accounts.
The legislation is one of several measures the council is considering to collect unpaid utility bills.
In addition to adding the delinquent bills to a homeowner’s tax bill, Vanzant has also suggested the village require that all utilities customers pay a deposit.
Currently, village homeowners are exempted from paying a utility deposit. She also suggested the village keep utility deposits until a customer pays the final bill instead of the current practice of returning the deposit after two years.