Residents and businesses of Hall County with sewer accounts 90 days past due will soon see their names airing on TV 18, the local government channel, in what appears to be an attempt to shame them into paying up.
“That list will be updated weekly to provide the most accurate information as to who remains delinquent on their payments,” Hall County spokeswoman Katie Crumley said.
The move by the county to air the names comes on the heels of a contract awarded Thursday by the Board of Commissioners to PDQ Services, a Woodstock collection agency, for its help in collecting past-due balances.
The county reports that it has about $60,000 in past-due sewer accounts and about $40,000 in past-due landfill accounts at this time, but has been unsuccessful in collecting.
PDQ will be paid a percentage of the collections it is able to obtain: 16.5 percent for accounts less than two years old and 19 percent for anything older.
Commissioners asked whether these rates correspond with the going market value. Financial Services Director Vickie Neikirk said many collection agencies charge between 30 and 35 percent for their services.
But there was some concern about outsourcing the collection process without first issuing a request for proposal and opening bids to other agencies.
“I’ve never been comfortable with awarding contracts without issuing a RFP,” Commissioner Craig Lutz said.
Neikirk said an RFP would have delayed the collection process about two months. Commissioners ultimately voted 4-1, with Lutz dissenting, to hire PDQ.