Clarksburg working out past-due water bills with North Adams
CLARKSBURG -- Clarksburg and North Adams officials are working together to recoup thousands of dollars in delinquent water bills owed the city by town residents.
At this month's annual town meeting, Clarksburg voters shot down a $6,940 request to pay delinquent water bills owed to the city. The measure was defeated 31-15, well short of the supermajority it needed to pass.
"With such a small crowd that attended the meeting, it only took a few people to make a statement," Selectmen Chairman Jeffrey Levanos said.
Michael Canales, North Adams' administrative officer, said the city is owed about $11,500.
"We want to get this bill cleared to zero so we can start anew," he said.
Canales said North Adams sells water to individual homeowners living near the North Adams-Clarksburg line.
Canales said the city notifies Clarksburg when a resident's water bill is $300 past due. At $500 past due, the city directs the town to collect the funds. The city is responsible for servicing the water lines.
One of the highest delinquent bills comes from a Wells Avenue home, which the town has taken for tax purposes and has scheduled for auction in November.
Levanos said town officials are looking to use $6,940 from the sewer maintenance fund to pay off the delinquent bills. In addition, the town is seeking to collect the money that's owed and pay the remainder before next year's annual town meeting.
"All houses that are mortgaged and owe money have been liened," Levanos said. "A few without mortgages, we are going after more aggressively."
Canales acknowledged things may have "slipped through the cracks" after a new administrator took over two years ago. The town has also been without a full-time administrator since Thomas Webb retired in March.
Levanos said the board is making headway at filling the position, which stalled when a selectman's seat was empty.
"We've started getting applications and will be working on holding interviews soon," he said.
In other business, the board:
-- Approved hiring Carrie Loholdt as animal control officer for a stipend of $1,400 a year. Loholdt is also the ACO for North Adams and Savoy.
-- Accepted the resignation of Building Inspector/Zoning Officer Kenneth Brooks. Brooks took the position earlier this month, but Levanos said "it was too much for him."
-- Announced vacancies on several town boards including the Board of Health.
To reach Edward Damon:
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On Twitter: @BE_EDamon
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