SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The city of South Charleston is working to reduce the amount of past due municipal service fees.
Residents pay $40 quarterly for the fee which covers trash pickup, street cleaning and other city services. But people wrote into WSAZ.com, saying lately they’ve received a notice with a large past due amount despite never having received a bill .
“I just explain to them that it's their responsibility to sign up for municipal service fees when they move to South Charleston” municipal clerk Trina Rucker said.
City manager Carlton Lee said, at one point, past due fees cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“When we took office in 2007, the city had $300,000 in back municipal fees,” Lee said.
He added part of the problem was a former employee’s error. Another issue is that bills were addressed to former tenants, meaning people who moved in after didn’t open the bills.
In the past when residents didn’t pay their service fee, the city would stop picking up their trash, but then neighbors like Joyce French suffered.
French said her former neighbors didn’t have their trash collected so she and her family were affected.
“Garbage would collect, and it'd cause rats and other animals to come onto our property ... I believe everyone should pay their own way,” French said .
Lee says the city is now resorting to legal consequences for residents who don’t pay their fees.