Newly selected Plymouth Clerk/Treasure Lynn Gorski appeared before the City Council Monday evening with a request from the Plymouth Community School Corporation to waive the late fees from their December water bills.
The Clerk/Treasurer was able to look back to 2015 and found no late payments until December 2019. Since December 19 the school corporation hasn’t been late with their payments until the bill that was due on January 4, 2022.
The payment from the Plymouth School Corporation was received by the city the day after penalties were added. Gorski said the late fees for their 14 accounts totaled $999.86.
A letter from Kandi Tinkey, Business Manager sent a letter to the City Council. Mayor Mark Senter read the first line which said, “As a government entity and in accordance with the State Board of Accounts we are not permitted to pay late fees or penalties.”
Gorski said that clause is true for the city and Utility Superintendent Donnie Davidson said the last two Clerk/Treasurers have stated that say thing several times in public meetings.
City Councilman Don Ecker asked if invoices are mailed to the school corporation and Gorski said yes. The school claimed they received them on December 22nd and Gorski confirmed that they were mailed on December 20th. She said the city does offer an option to email invoices and they typically arrive a day or two before the invoices are mailed.
Councilman Greg Compton asked if there were different payment terms for different types of businesses, organizations, or individuals? Gorski said no, everyone has the same terms on their water bills. The terms for the school corporation are the same as city residents have for their homes.
Councilman Robert Listenberger asked if there was any way to send the bills out sooner. Gorski said the Utility Clerk must review 3,000 bills prior to sending out. She also noted that bills are always due on the 4th of the month. The 10% penalty is added on the 5th of the month, and they have until the 14th to pay, or the water is shut off on the 15th.
Councilman Duane Culp said the city and the school corporation work well together for the betterment of the community. He said he thought it was more of an oversite with the Christmas holiday and COVID.
The Plymouth City Council voted 5 in favor of waiving the late fee with Don Ecker voting No and Jeff Houin abstaining because he is the attorney for the Plymouth School Corporation.