Mineola utility customers given deadline

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Mineola residents who are late on their utility bills will have two upcoming deadlines to meet.

The city, under state guidance issued during the coronavirus pandemic, has not been enforcing late fees or disconnecting utilities for non-payment.

But the state has said that debt collections can resume.

Mayor Kevin White outlined the city’s plans Monday. 

He noted that many of those in arrears – 53 residents and three businesses – are those who are usually past due and appear to have taken advantage of the city’s generosity.

Some set up payment plans but then did not make any payments.

The city is requesting that half of the overdue amount be paid by June 15 and the balance by July 10. Otherwise the late fees will start being added to the bills and disconnect notices issued.

Anyone whose account is late will be receiving a letter outlining the repayment plan, White said.

He said what the city wants to see is people making an effort to pay their bills, such as through a payment plan.

“We want to be good neighbors,” he said.

White said many had likely received a stimulus payment from the federal government that could be used for rent and utilities.

He explained that cities can waive late fees but cannot waive fees for services, such as water.

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