In response to a letter that Bill Faust wrote (Times, July 18) I must say that he appears to have ignored a big part of what the town manager and clerk had to say. The due date on our town bills is the 28th, but as the clerk reported, there is a five-day grace period. So, even if your government check comes on the 1st or 2nd, you still have several days to make a payment before any late fees are charged. No disconnect notices are sent until someone is delinquent for two months. Compared to other towns, and indeed other utility companies, this is an extremely generous policy!
As far I know, LPEA or Source Gas doesn't show that kind of leniency, so why is it different with water?
People are quick to cry that they can't live without water - EXACTLY! So why does everyone complain about having to pay for it? Just watch the news - pretty soon it will not be a matter of how much the water costs. It will be a matter of if we even have any. On that note, if you are having difficulty paying your town bill, try calling or visiting the town clerk or town manager. Let them know your situation - let them know what you can do, not what you can't do. They are reasonable people and maybe they can work with you to come up with a payment plan. But please don't just ignore the bills! As far as the due date goes, how about other utility bills? Are they always due at a "convenient" time? What Mr. Faust and some other folks may not realize is, if people don't pay their bills - for whatever reason - then eventually the people who do pay regularly, like me and Mr. Faust, will end up paying more to cover the difference. So, how generous do you feel?
Lest any of you think I am unsympathetic to financial difficulties, I will share with you that several years ago I was faced with some huge medical bills. While I was working to pay off those bills, it never once occurred to me to not pay my utility bills. I used a very useful tool called a "budget." I did not have satellite TV, I did not eat out, I only insured, drove and maintained one vehicle, I did not buy alcohol or go to the casino - I chose to pay for essentials and not much else.
I worked side-by-side with the current town manager, town clerk and the public works department of Bayfield for over a year. I think it would be interesting if some of the people who live here could spend even one day witnessing some of the problems our town has to deal with. I would guess that most of us living here have caused extra work for our public works guys by putting things down our sinks and toilets that don't belong there. Ask yourself how much crap (literally) you would be willing to shovel in the middle of the night because someone allowed their children to put toys through our sewer lines.
Just once, I would like to hear some of the fine citizens of Bayfield show some appreciation for the services our town provides instead of whining about having to pay for them. Our town does a lot on a very limited budget. I have traveled and lived all across this country, and I can attest that most of our services are very reasonably priced. There are always trade-offs in life, but we all have the power to make choices about how we spend our precious cash and our precious lives.
The next time you turn on your faucet, try to be happy that you have a clean, abundant source of water. The next time you flush your toilet, try to be happy that it all goes away.and all you have to do is write a check. Really..