Danielsville water customers will soon have 60 days to pay their water bills before their lose their water service.
In another late meeting May 3, the city council agreed to extend its water shut-off policy from 40 to 60 days and to develop a “hardship application procedure” for those who need extra time to pay their bills. All hardship applications will be reviewed and approved/disapproved by the council.
The matter came to a head after a situation in which city employee Becky Delay gave a family extra time to pay its water bill after city employees showed up at the residence to shut off the water for non-payment.
Delay said she agreed to allow the family to have until May 1 to pay their delinquent water bill after they expressed a hardship. Delay and city clerk Connie Riley said the family paid their bill in full on Friday, April 30.
Delay asked for a clarification of what her discretion over water bill payments is, if any.
“Let me know what you want me to do and I’ll do it,” Delay said. “…Ya’ll just make it clear and I’ll do it.”
City attorney Victor Johnson will write the new policy and the council will then read it into the minutes at their June and July meetings, at which time it will take effect. The council also agreed to mail notices of the new policy and the hardship application procedures to each water customer household.
In other business, the council approved a conditional use permit by J. Brooks Williams for an auto sales lot. Williams and his brother Travis Williams plan to open the lot next to the Williams Barbecue restaurant on General Daniel Avenue North. The brothers will still have to obtain licensing for the lot through the state, according to city attorney Victor Johnson.
Robin Griffeth, owner of Twin Pines Auto Sales at the red light, voiced her objections to the rezoning, asking that it be denied until the state concludes an investigation into what she called “illegal (car) sales” by the Williamses. But Johnson said the conditional use permit was a separate matter from any investigation.
The council discussed at length, but took no action on sewer pumps for the planned new Madison Street lift station.
Mayor Philip Croya encouraged all council members to visit the Oconee County sewer system lift stations.