Late county water, sewer bills explained
Published 6:03 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Southampton County residents have recently noted receiving water bills late, and County Administrator Michael W. Johnson shed light on the issue while also putting to rest any concerns about citizens having to pay extra due to missing the Feb. 10 due date.
Caroline Steward, of Newsoms, recently called The Tidewater News to share some difficulties she had experienced in paying her Dec. 2-Jan. 5 water bill, which she said was sent out Jan. 28.
“It’s due tomorrow, and I just got it today,” she said Feb. 9. “And the same is with my neighbor. I don’t even think they’ve gotten theirs, so it’s all of us, and (the county) didn’t mail them out until three weeks late.”
She noted that she tried to use electronic means of paying the bill but was unable to. She said she called the county and was ultimately told she needed to come in person to pay the bill.
“I’m old, I have heart problems, and I can’t run it down there right now,” Steward said.
Johnson quickly responded to a request for information from The Tidewater News on Feb. 11 by noting that mailing of county water and sewer bills was delayed last month due to temporary staffing shortages related to COVID-19.
He said the bills were mailed on Jan. 28 but were apparently further delayed at the post office, with some customers not receiving them until Feb. 9. He acknowledged that the due date is always the 10th of each month.
“Given the circumstances, we will not assess penalties or interest for payments received after the due date this month,” he said.
Addressing concerns about roadblocks in paying by electronic means, Johnson said there were also some updates with the online payment system earlier in February that created issues for some customers.
“It’s my understanding that those issues have since been resolved,” he said.
He stated that customers should be able to make online payments by visiting the county website, www.SouthamptonCounty.org, and clicking the “$ BILL PAY $” button on the right-hand side of the page.
But Johnson warned that should any customers attempt to utilize previously saved “bookmarks” or “favorites” to the old bill pay system from their computers, they will no longer work.