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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Committee Will Work Through Agency To Collect Delinquent Solid Waste Fees

   Members of the county commission’s Solid Waste Committee have agreed to work through a collection agency in future attempts to collect delinquent solid waste fees.

   Members made the decision during a committee meeting held Tuesday morning.

   Director of Accounts and Budgets, Teresa Purcell, told members that 87% of Lawrence County residents pay their solid waste fees annually as required. The percentage of overdue accounts decreases over time as residents do come in to make payments.

   After one year accounts not paid are deemed delinquent. Letters are dispatched through Purcell’s office, notifying residents of the delinquent status and explaining legal consequences.

   In the past County Attorney Charlie Holt has been tasked with dealing with the collection of delinquent fees. Letters were initially issued through his office. Residents with accounts that continued to remain delinquent were eventually named in lawsuits.

   Committee members were able to make inquiries regarding practices of collection agencies through one agency owner that was present.

She said that her company charges a fee of 18% of any monies recovered. On the county’s $54 solid waste fee the agency would receive $11 leaving the county to collect $43.

   In the end committee members voted unanimously to proceed with contracting with an agency. They requested that Purcell send letters to various collection agencies, requesting that they submit proposals describing their services and any associated fees.

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