City to Enforce Water Shut off Policy for Overdue Payments

In an effort to keep an aggressive stance on collections, the City Services Commission will begin to enforce a water service shut off policy for residential and commercial properties.  Accounts with outstanding balances of $500 or more and in excess of 90-days past due will be issued a Demand Notice.  The notice will be sent via Certified Mail and payment must be made within 15 days of date of issue (excluding Sundays and holidays) or the water to the property will be shut off.

According to the City Services Commission, uncollected water and sewer revenues require the City to raise water and sewer rates higher than is necessary to fund the Water and Sewer Enterprise budget. The Enterprise Fund must generate and collect 100% of its approved budget on a yearly basis. If collections do not meet or exceed the approved Water and Sewer budget, rates must be increased to fund the difference. Stronger enforcement of collections is the most efficient means to keep current and future water and sewer rates as low as possible for residential and commercial property owners.

For all property owners outstanding balances in excess of 30-days due will be assessed interest at the rate of 14% annually (1.16%) per month.  Interest will be calculated on the outstanding balance as of the close of business on the last business day of the month.  Past Due Notices will be issued on all accounts with outstanding balances of $10.00 or more and in excess of 30 days due.

Homeowners and Commercial Property owners will be given every opportunity to pay the quarterly bill and in some cases payment plans can be made available.

When a shutoff is scheduled to happen, the resident will receive a small orange card in the mail. This will trigger water treatment personnel to come out to the home to complete the shutoff. Once the water is shut off, the city will charge an additional $150 to reconnect the water and return service to the property.

Once the bill is paid, the Water Department will return service within 24-48 hours. For more information on an outstanding bill, contact the Water Department at 617-394-2327.

The City will follow Massachusetts General Laws as it pertains to shutting water off where, the City cannot shut off water in homes where there are infants younger than 12 months old, elderly over 65 year old, or in homes where there are confirmed medical conditions.

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