Grace period set for electric bills

Published 11:17 am Friday, August 18, 2017

City Manager Randy Martin has announced that electric bills have been successfully sent out approximately 11 days earlier this month than last.

“We kept the 20th due date [on the invoices], and extended it to the 25th [of this month] without penalty,” Martin said. “We’re two-third of the way back to where we want to be.

“We’re not satisfied, and will keep working to where we need to be.”

More than three months ago, the City moved its utility billing system to a new computer software. That resulted in numerous city residents not receiving their electric bills on time.

Before, the invoices were mailed out from the seventh to the 10th of each month, and due by the 20th. Last month, the deadline was extended to July 28.

As previously reported, a city resident told the paper that when he went to pay his bill at City Hall on July 17, the person attending the customer service desk could not determine how much he owed. In the two previous months, however, he said that information had been available.

Answering to City Council during its meeting in late July, Martin said then that he hoped to have the billing back on target this month.

He acknowledged the difficulties the installation has caused, and added that the program manufacturer said a 90-day cycle for staff to become familiar with the new system is typical.

Martin expressed appreciation for customer’s patience, and also apologized if anyone got an erroneous second notice or cutoff statement.

He added that to the best of his knowledge, no one’s power was stopped because of the aforementioned issues.

The city manager also commended the billing personnel for their work during the process.