Cumming utility customers could soon pay more in late fees.
But, they could also pay less, depending on their bill amounts.
The Cumming City Council voted unanimously to change the late fee structure during its monthly meeting Tuesday after a recommendation from Utilities Director Jon Heard.
Heard asked leaders to shift from a flat late fee of $5 to a fee of 10 percent of the total bill amount.
“If you have a $50 bill, that’s only a $5 late fee, or if you have a $20 bill, that’s only a $2 fee,” Heard said. “But, if you have a $1,000 bill, that’s a fee of $100.
“We feel this will be more fair and help us better enforce our policies and be a stronger reminder to customers to pay their bills in a timely manner.”
Heard added that most surrounding counties, including Hall and Gwinnett, have similar late fee structures.
Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said he believes the percentage-based fee is an improvement.
“Looks like this will be a happy medium since it’s not going to affect most residential customers,” Gravitt said. “It’s those big, commercial users that don’t pay on time that end up really costing us.”
Utilities Comptroller Barbara Pitts said the change would likely go into effect Jan. 1.
“We plan to send out a notice to all our customers and get all of our forms changed and then have it be effective at the first of the year,” Pitts said.