BRADLEY — The village of Bradley has an estimated 6,000 sewer hook-ups within its boundaries.
The vast majority of those accounts are up to date and function quite well.
There are, however, as with any business enterprise, a certain number of customers who, for a variety of reasons — both just and unjust — fall behind and never seem to catch up.
The village’s financial department — headed by Rob Romo — informed the newly seated six-member board of trustees this past week that it has 324 accounts considered to be past due.
These accounts add up to approximately $220,000 of debt.
The village wants this debt settled.
Romo and village staff have already settled approximately one-third — about 105 — of the delinquent accounts. By settled, Romo explained, those accounts have been paid in full.
Another one-third are in the process of settling up payment plans to pay their outstanding balance.
But there is about 100 accounts in which the village has not gained any response. The village, however, is not going to just let that be the end of the story.
“It’s not fair to those who pay their accounts to have others who do not,” Romo said after this past week’s village board meeting. “People who receive the service have to pay for it.”
Delinquent account holders will have a sticker placed on their front door. The sticker will explain that their sewer service will be disconnected if payment arrangements are not made.
By disconnection, he explained, it means the Department of Public Works would dig up the sewer connection to the property and place a shutoff valve on the line. Such action would basically make a dwelling uninhabitable.
The valve would not be opened until arrangements have been made to pay the bill. When disconnecting the sewer line, the village will reach out to Aqua Illinois so the water service is halted because there would be no way for the water to exit the property.
“The village wants to work with people, but everyone has to pay their bill,” he said.
Through Romo’s research, he noted the last time the village made an effort to collect delinquent accounts was in 2016. He explained since he started with the village in February 2019 the lagging sewer accounts were one of his targets.
He said the village recently installed a new computer software program which has aided him in establishing village payment plans.