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Authority cuts water to 300 customers in Jackson County

POSTED: August 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.

JEFFERSON — The Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority cut off water services to more than 300 customers this week while they installed new billing software, according to authority officials.

Authority Manager Eric Klerk said the authority is in the process of changing its billing system, which was the main cause for the substantial rise in the number of water cutoffs.

"We didn’t do cutoffs for the month of June because we were installing this new system," which almost doubled the normal 120-person monthly cutoff rate, he said.

Klerk said that customers who haven’t paid 10 days after the due date are subject to having their water shut off, but it’s usually the bills of $75 or more that haven’t paid for a few months that are more likely to have their water services stopped. And for those having financial difficulties, different payment options are available through the billing office.

"If it’s a hardship case, if people call in, the billing staff can make arrangements," Klerk said.

He also said their water cutoff policy hasn’t changed, but their normal reminder system wasn’t utilized this time around.

"Normally we give out door hangers about three days before, but we didn’t this time because we were installing the new billing software," Klerk said.

This brought more complaints to the authority’s office and to field agents who were turning off customers’ water.

With the new billing system, the authority will be able to send letters to customers a few days before their water is subject to being turned off, Klerk said.



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