The City of Wetaskiwin is making changes to the way it processes your utility bills.
While property owners have previously been able to transfer overdue utility balances to their municipal tax roll, that will no longer be the case. As of Jan. 1, 2020, City utility payments may only be made directly to the City of Wetaskiwin. If you’ve been paying utility bills as part of your mortgage payment, you’ll need to ask your financial institution to stop accepting the utility portion of your mortgage payment, beginning Jan. 1.
The City of Wetaskiwin continues to work with utility customers whose accounts are past due and encourages anyone with outstanding invoices to call the utility office at 780-361-4453 to make payment arrangements. Payment arrangements previously set for three months will now be extended for up to 12 months, depending on the customer’s circumstance.
Water disconnections resume in January
While the City will not undertake any water service disconnections in December, it will resume doing so in January for properties whose owners have not made any attempt to contact the utility office and arrange a payment plan.
“We don’t want to disconnect anyone’s water service, but the City is trying to collect $750,000 in outstanding utility fees,” said Sue Howard, Director of Municipal Services. “If we don’t move forward with trying to collect the unpaid amounts, then ultimately the shortfall rests on the backs of local taxpayers – and that’s not fair.”
Advance notice given for past due accounts
Don’t panic – your water will not be shut off without you receiving advance notice. A ‘Notice of Overdue Account’ letter is sent to all customers whose utility accounts are over 30 days past due. Within this letter, the City asks that the property owner contact the Wetaskiwin utility office within one month of the date of the letter. If no communication is received from the property owner within that time frame, another letter is sent out stating the property has been added to a water service disconnect list. If no payment arrangements are forthcoming, a 24-hour disconnection notice will be issued before the service is disconnected.
Once water service has been disconnected to a property, the total amount outstanding plus a reconnection fee will have to be paid in full before water service to the property is restored.