News & Resources

Debtors in Pennsylvania city threatened with water shutoff

Apr 02, 2012 Mike Garretson

York, Pennsylvania, residents who don't pay their sewer and trash bills will soon be in danger of having their water shut off, the York Dispatch reports. The city is owed around $18 million from years of nonpayment, and business administrator Michael O'Rourke has vowed to recoup the funds. "One (part of the plan) is a treat. And the other one is a stick," O'Rourke said, as quoted by the news source. "We have decided to make a conscious effort to collect as much of the delinquency as we can." Beginning on April 1, delinquent residents will have one month to pay off their debt without interest. Beyond that, however, the city will begin sending out notices to debtors, and if they still refuse to pay they'll be subject to action from debt collection services and could have their water shut off. The city will begin by chasing after the 15 worst offenders. Should water be shut off at a residence, code enforcement officials may deem the property uninhabitable, forcing the tenant to live elsewhere. Councilman Henry Nixon expressed his satisfaction with the ruling. "There are an awful lot of city residents and landlords who pay on time," said Nixon, as quoted by the York Daily Record. "It's really these unscrupulous people stealing from people who pay."