LEXINGTON, Ky. - The city of Lexington is losing out on millions of dollars in water quality, sanitary sewer, and landfill fees because some residents aren’t paying their monthly LEXserv bills.
Finance Commissioner Bill O’Mara told Urban County Council members this week that since switching billing providers last year, the collection rate for the fees is down around seven percent.
In September Lexington residents started receiving a separate bill – known as LEXserv -- for the water quality, sanitary sewer, and landfill fees. When those services had been part of monthly Kentucky American Water bills, the collection rate was 98 percent.
“I don’t know that we will ever reach 98% again, but our goal is not to be satisfied at 91,” says O’Mara.
Officials will soon implement a progressive collection process for LEXserv, including applying interest and penalties. Council members will hear more details about the collections policy at a meeting next week or in early June.
“Ultimately the collection effort will be shut-off of water,” O’Mara said.
O’Mara says he is pleased with the number of customers who have enrolled in automatic bill payment and are using the LEXserv website to pay their fees.
The city was forced to use another billing provider when the water company chose not to renew its contract. Lexington typically collects $60-65 million in fees each year to help fund sanitary sewer and storm water projects.