The city of Leesville will begin disconnecting water for customers with outstanding delinquent bills beginning June 1.
The city announced its decision to return to its normal operating procedure regarding outstanding bills earlier this month, after receiving approval from city council members and Mayor Rick Allen.
Since late March, with Gov. John Bel Edwards’ issuance of his stay-at-home order, the city waived its process of shutting off water for residents if delinquent bills went unpaid. As that motion was lifted, City Administrator Patti Larney said the decision was made to begin enforcing payment of delinquent bills.
Despite the stay-at-home order, Larney told the American Press the city’s number of unpaid bills has remained relatively low.
“What we have seen, for the most part, is that those who were paying their bills before the stay-at-home order was issued have continued to pay their bill during this time,” Larney said.
The shut-offs will not be taken lightly, Larney said, and the city has vowed to work with residents who may still be struggling or unable to return to work just yet.
“Shutting off someone’s water is a last resort, and the city is willing to work with anyone who might be struggling right now. Disconnects will likely only occur with residents who have not reached out to us or communicated with us at all,” Larney said.
Leesville’s city hall will also officially reopen to the public on June 1, after remaining closed during the first initial days of the state’s phase one reopening.
City officials will be limiting the amount of visitors allowed in the building’s lobby area to three at a time, and encourage the public to contact the office by phone whenever possible.