Past due garbage accounts face fines

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 26, 2002

The City of Selma is adopting a get tough stance with those residents who owe some $1 million in delinquent garbage fee accounts.

The message to those who haven’t been paying, according to City Clerk Jacqueline Smith: Pay up or face the possibility of a court fine or of having your account turned over to a collection agency.

There are, according to Smith, two sets of delinquent accounts &045;&045; those that date before the first of the year, and those that come afterward.

Emphasis on &uot;a lot.&uot; Smith estimated that delinquent accounts from that period total &uot;roughly $1 million.&uot; The city has hired Franklin Collection Services, a collection agency with regional offices in Tuscaloosa, in an attempt to collect that money.

Franklin will receive the industry standard of 35 percent of any monies collected.

Since the first of the year, responsibility for collecting garbage fees has been taken over by the city. Already this year, delinquent garbage fee accounts have reached $60,000. According to Smith, approximately 1,000 accounts – or about one out of every six – is delinquent.

Earlier this month the city began issuing summonses for residents with delinquent accounts to appear in municipal court. The first such session was held Nov. 15. The city plans to hold two court sessions each month until the delinquent accounts are brought up to date.

She indicated that the city will be sending out letters to those accounts that are currently delinquent. If residents do not respond within 30 days, a summons will then be issued for them to appear in court.

In an attempt to add additional motivation, the city plans to print a list of delinquent garbage fee accounts in The Times-Journal Dec. 15, just as it does for delinquent taxpayers.

Customers may pay their account each month either by mail or in person at the city’s Tax and License Department at City Hall.