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Roanoke Utilities raises deposits for renters

At Monday’s meeting of Roanoke Utilities Board, Chairman Ronald Cameron told the board, “We can’t keep losing money; if we do, we won’t be around long.”

Cameron was talking about the amount of money the board is owed in past due bills, money that was owed when a resident would move from one location to another. He said, “These renters are killing us and we really don’t have any way to recover what’s owed.”

Manager Pam Bonner said at the present time $280,657 is owed in past due amounts. She said, “We’ve got to do something about the deposit rates for renters. They pay a deposit and then after a few months, they pack up and move somewhere else and leave owing us money.”

She went on to say that $276,580 is on the books as being at least 120 days past due. She said the deposit rates for the county are much higher than those of Roanoke’s.

After a discussion, the board approved an increase for both water and gas deposits. The new deposits will be $300 for gas and $200 for water. “We’ll do this and take another look at it after six months,” Cameron said. The increase became effective immediately.

In other business, the board heard a presentation from Anson Walck of Southern Corrosion Engineered Tank Care. Walck was there to answer any questions the board had concerning a proposal from his company to maintain the city’s water tanks. The board said they would study the proposal and compare to some others they have. The board is under no time constraints to hirs someone, but must have a plan submitted to ADEM by the end of the month. The board agreed this is more requirements from ADEM without any money to help pay for them.

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