Metropolis Utility Billing Procedures Questioned
By Jim Hall
METROPOLIS, IL -
Concerned landlords packed the Metropolis City Council chambers Monday night, protesting a recent policy change which puts the burden of paying delinquent city utility bills on the shoulders of landowners, instead of renters.
An ordinance passed in 2008 made the landowner responsible for paying overdue utility bills.
However, the city had failed to go after landlords whose tenants had moved out with unpaid utility bills until last month.
Property owners are now receiving bills for city services such as electricity, sewer, water and refuse collection; even when the services were in the name of tenants.
At Monday’s meeting, the city council decided to further review the practice at an ordinance committee meeting, scheduled for 1 pm next Tuesday.
Lucky Atkinson was one of the landowners who expressed his objection to the current policy at the council meeting.
“You’re trying to make me responsible for someone else’s bills,” Atkinson said. “I believe this is bad policy and it’s wrong.”