Unpaid bills drive the price of utilities - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Unpaid bills drive the price of utilities

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According to the town manager, Oak Island has more than $700,000 in uncollected utility feels. According to the town manager, Oak Island has more than $700,000 in uncollected utility feels.

OAK ISLAND, NC (WECT) – One town in Brunswick County is missing hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills, and leaders say they're out to get that money back.

According to the town manager, Oak Island has more than $700,000 in uncollected utility feels.

Since Oak Island bills residents for property taxes, sewer district fees, storm water lines, and water lines, the accounting software that manages all that got overwhelmed.

Any partial payments received should have been applied to property tax bills first, but the software was applying that money to sewer district fees instead.

The town council hired a collection agency to focus on the debt within the last 90 days and will charge a 15 percent fee.

Town Manager, Steve Foster says those uncollected fees can drive the price of utilities even higher.

"It's certainly something that we can't ignore and something we need to address," said "The part that I really feel bad about and this goes back to a period of several years, is the fact that the people who do pay their bills and are prompt in making payments are suffering the consequences of those that have not."

Foster added that a portion of the money will likely never be collected because after three years, the statute of limitations runs out.

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