By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
On Jan. 13, the Madison County commissioners reversed their Dec. 16 decision to give residents of Camp Wissalohican a 50 percent break on their delinquent water/sewer bills.
Nathan Peters, a county employee with the Madison County Sanitary Sewer and Water District, said he and county Prosecutor Steve Pronai received calls from residents served by other plants in the county who want a similar break.
“If you cut (the residents of Camp Wissalohican) a break, you’re going to have to give everyone a break,” Pronai said, confirming that he received about a half-dozen calls from residents at Lake Choctaw near London and Burr Oaks near Mount Sterling.
Camp Wissalohican is a grouping of 22 homes located on High Free Pike near I-70 in Jefferson Township. A combined water and sewer plant serves the 22 homes and nearby Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church. Nearly half of the homeowners are chronically delinquent on their water/sewer bills. As of December, the small community accounted for $34,000 of the $86,600 in delinquent fees owed to the district.
Originally, the commissioners were going to forgive half of what was owed at Camp Wissalohican if residents in violation paid the other half by Jan. 31. After that date, water and sewer service was going to be shut off to homes that remained delinquent, followed by the start of foreclosure proceedings.
Now, that offer is off the table.
“I don’t like the idea of setting a precedent,” said Commissioner David Dhume. Pronai said it would be difficult to defend the county’s decision to offer one community a break on delinquent fees and not all served by the county.
With the reversed decision, Camp Wissalohican residents who are delinquent on fees must pay them in full or face foreclosure. They will receive no break on what they owe. Pronai plans to send letters to residents, giving them 30 days to make payment arrangements.
While delinquent fees are owed for services delivered in other parts of the district, the county is targeting Camp Wissalohican because the plant has been insolvent from its beginning, said Commissioner Paul Gross.
For more information, call the Madison County Sanitary Sewer and Water District at (740) 845-1702.