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Morgan County water company asking customers to contact them if they are struggling from pandemic

The manager of the Morgan County Water and Sewer Authority, Wayne Reed, tells WAAY 31's Casey Albritton the policy is flexible. He says if you are struggling to make ends meet, you should call before your next bill is due and they will work out a payment plan, but some customers say the policy is still too harsh

Posted: Aug 20, 2020 6:01 PM

The Morgan County Water and Sewer Authority wants you to know you have options if you can't pay your bill.

The utility's website says if you're 10 days late paying a bill, there's a $50 late fee and you could be disconnected if it's not paid. One customer said she thinks that's unfair during a pandemic.

The manager of the Morgan County Water and Sewer Authority, Wayne Reed, tells WAAY 31's Casey Albritton the policy is flexible. He says if you are struggling to make ends meet, you should call before your next bill is due and they will work out a payment plan, but some customers say the policy is still too harsh

"During a pandemic like this, I think it's probably, we need to have a little grace on some people who are still not all into jobs and working. We are just now getting into the swing at school, so I think there needs to be a little bit of grace," said customer, Christi Day.

Customer Christi Day says she thinks the $50 late fee is too much to charge people who may be unemployed right now.

"These are tough times. We are still dealing with lots of issues that even essential workers are having work through and make sure their bills are paid," said Day.

She also says getting your water cut off for not being able to make payments during the pandemic is extreme.

"You have to make your payments and you have to make sure you do what's right and everything else but there are some people who just can't help it," said Day.

Morgan County Water and Sewer Authority Manager, Wayne Reed, says the policy has been in place for a year - but it was suspended in April and May. In June, it went back into effect.

"The stimulus checks were being handed out, unemployment had been increased and we felt like the funds were there," said Reed.

He says the policy is meant to keep people from owing hundreds of dollars in utility bills.

"We don't want people to get too far behind that they can't catch up," said Reed.

Reed says he understands people are in a tough position right now.

"As long as the customer is calling and keeping us informed, 'I'm still unemployed,' we are here to help and we will," said Reed.

"I think it's a good idea that they continue to let people reach out to them if they have issues," said Day.

Reed says payment plans will be determined based on a customers individual situation.

If your account is removed because of non-payment, the company states you will have to sign up like a new customer to resume service. That includes paying the set-up fee.

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