South Fulton check fee gone; disconnection policy in works

December 13, 2018

South Fulton Vice-Mayor Billy Williams, presiding in special called session Dec. 11 at 4 p.m., in the absence of Mayor David Lamb, along with Commissioners Tommy Pruett, Beatrice Wilcox and Terry Taylor, voted to discontinue the 40 cents per check fee, which the officials had previously approved, to curb the thousands of dollars the city loses annually as a result of bad checks written to pay utility bills.

City Manager Jeff Gabbert will prepare a draft of a policy to address the consequences of non-payment of utility bills as well as payment made using a check written from an account with insufficient funds to cover the check, by way of disconnection of services, to present for the commission's review at their regular session Dec. 20 at 5 p.m.

A determination was made that the city had no disconnection policy in place, to serve as a deterrent for those who did not pay their utilities bill, or paid in using an insufficient funded account. The city was cited by the State for the lack of such a policy.

While the 40 cent per check fee is no longer in force, discussion took place by the commission which included options to consider once the disconnection policy is enacted, which could be cause to revisit the option of charging a fee for using checks to pay utility bills, as well as the possibility of discontinuing the use of checks for payment altogether.

The 40 cent per check fee was originally thought to be a way for city hall staff to immediately be able to determine if sufficient funds were in the account on which the check was written for payment immediately, with the 40 cent fee used to cover the cost of the company providing the service.

The Dec. 20 meeting at 5 p.m. is open to the public.