The Suburbanite
  • Bigger sewer bills coming to county customers

  • The Stark County Metropolitan Sewer District has redesigned its bills and will be sending them out less frequently to its sewer customers beginning in March. Water and tap-in customers will continue to be billed on a monthly basis.

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  • Stark County sewer customers will see a bigger bill in March — literally.
    As part of a new billing process, customers in the Stark County Metropolitan Sewer District will receive a standard letter-sized bill rather than the typical postcard invoice. The new bill has a bottom-half stub that can be more easily processed than the postcards.
    The charge on the redesigned bills also will appear bigger — for most sewer customers it will be $44 instead of $22 — but that’s because the county will be sending the bill every other month instead of every month. Sewer customers who live on the east side of the county will receive their redesigned bills next week. Customers on the west side of the county will receive their bills at the end of month.
    County water customers in Lake Township also will see a redesigned bill next week that includes a larger-than-typical charge. Sanitary Engineer Jim Jones said the March bill will cover water use for January and February, but subsequent bills will reflect only a monthly charge. Tap-in customers will continue to be billed monthly.
    Jones said the changes to the sewer district’s billing procedures are meant to reduce processing time, require less manual labor and lower postage expenses.
    Under the old system, customers mailed their payments to a Canton post office box that were then taken to the sanitary engineer’s office for processing, then sent to the county treasurer’s office to be scanned and deposited in the bank. The process costs roughly $114,000 a year, according to estimates provided by the county auditor’s office.
    Under the new system, customers would continue to mail their payments to a Canton P.O. Box address, but Huntington Bank, which won the $90,014 contract through competitive bidding, would retrieve, process and deposit the checks.
    The new process is expected to cost the county roughly $220,000 a year. But Jones said that his office and the county treasurer could save a combined $100,000 a year by reallocating billing employees to other office functions that need to be filled. No employees will lose their jobs, Jones said.

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