By JESSIE HORTON
DUBLIN (July 14, 2015) — If you’re over 60 and living in Texas, you have until the 25th of each month to pay your utility bills including water. It’s a law. One the City of Dublin was unaware of.
According to Dublin officials, the city provides water to residents and bills are due on the 20th of each month. On the 21st, residents must pay a late fee. Well, if you’re over 60 and are willing to look up the law, the City of Dublin has to allow you the extra time to pay your bill.
Some residents, who rely on social security to pay their bills, say their checks do not come until the 21st of the month. This has created a hardship on some, but recently a resident presented the law to city officials and won.
Nancy Wooldridge, City Administrator, said she wants to change the due date for all residents currently buying water from the city.
“Not only would it save people having to come in and request this,” she said Monday night, holding up the law in her hand, “but we could also give the rest of the residents more time to pay their bills. Not only will it be a simple change, it won’t cost the city anything. It just seems like the right thing to do.”
However, council members weren’t convinced the change would be as easy as Wooldridge said and opted not to push the due date for water bills back. They did consent that all residents who meet the requirements, present the law and request the due date change will be granted the later due date.
The council heard from Juanita Torres, Dublin Fall Fiesta organizer, who advised the event would be very similar to the fiesta from last year in Dublin City Park. However, changes will include live music throughout the day on a stage set up similar to the one for the Luke Wade concert at the Little League fields.
Torres requested permission from the council to wave the fees for the event being held in the city park and to waive the alcohol in the park restriction. She said this was the way planners held the event last year and hoped the council would work with them again this year. Organizers already have security hired. Council members unanimously approved the requests.
Jeff Weaver represented the Erath County Appraisal District at the council meeting on Monday. He reported that everything is on track with the district. However, he did advise the council that the Appraisal District lost a suit with Rough Creek Lodge for taxes dating back to 2006. He said paying those funds back to Rough Creek has been difficult for some entities in the area including Iredell ISD, which was the hardest hit at near $1M.
The council sent a number of items on the agenda to the city’s appropriations committee, including a complaint about local tire shops allowing water to collect in old tires and drawing in mosquitos, police vehicles and replacements for those damaged due to lack of maintenance and ATV rules for the city.
In other business, the council approved replacing Mac McMullen on the EDC Board with Layne Golden as the Dublin City Council representative. They also approved a motion that would allow city employees to remove the signs in the city park forbidding horses and horse trailers as city officials said police would patrol the area more carefully and know how to ensure the horses do not bother other campers in the park.
City Administrator Nancy Wooldridge informed the council that the city’s health insurance policy for city employees through RHA was up for renewal. She said the only change was an upgrade available for employees to choose, but that the cost of the city’s part does not change if the employees choose the option. Wooldridge said a number of the employees had chosen the option and were very pleased.