PAYING YOUR fair share. That is all water department officials in Bellaire are asking customers to do.
Unfortunately, easier said than done. Delinquent water payments are a problem of major proportions in the All-American Town.
So much so that a concerted effort is being mobilized to collect on past and mounting debt.
During Thursday night's meeting Bellaire Village Council instructed Village Administrator Dan Marling and the employees at the water department to get a handle on the delinquent account situation within the community.
Marling was given his marching orders. Those being that "any account that is one month past due, the village has the authority to go in and shut off the water."
Delinquent Bellaire water customers are not being blindsided by the crackdown. Marling noted that letters went out Thursday to customers who are behind explaining the village' ordinance on water bills and that the village has the right to remove equipment from the premises if a customer is behind on their bill.
Marling noted that the water department has been lenient in its effort to recoup overdue bills. He added that the leniency is being abused by some, forcing such tougher tactics.
Bellaire is a village which has encountered tough economic times, more so than most. Collecting delinquent water bills would pump thousands if not hundreds of thousands dollars into the Bellaire budget. Money that could be used in may facets by the water department.
Bellaire officials are not out of line in seeking to secure what they are owed. We do hope, however, they realize that many townspeople are also dealing with financial hardships.
With that being the case, the water department should show compassion and flexibility when the need arises.