The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is beginning to put the crunch on local city governments, a topic that was addressed on Monday night by members of the Dixon City Commission.

According to city officials, there are currently $8,343 in outstanding water bills owed to the city. That debt belongs to just 10% of the city’s 388 water customers, or around 38 accounts. Around half of the bills are only a month behind, but others are from much earlier this year.

The largest of those is a bill for $1,048, which belongs to a customer who has not paid since March when Gov. Andy Beshear issued an order preventing utility providers from cutting off customers for non-payment.

The city has a pending water bill it owes for $14,000.

“We can’t afford to keep letting these people ride because some people will ride the gravy train to the end of the line,” said commissioner Terry Webb.

“I will try to get word to the governor,” said mayor Carolyn Townsend. “He has to realize what this is doing to the cities. I think little Slaughters has $3,000 in outstanding bills. Cities like Providence and Clay which provide other services are worse off than we are.”

Although utility providers currently cannot cut off utility services due to non-payment, once the governor’s emergency order is lifted or allowed to expired, those customers who have not paid will be expected to pay their full bill immediately or could face disconnect.

In other business, Townsend announced that the city of Dixon should be able to start taking credit card payments for utility bills as soon as November.

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069.

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069