ALTUS, OK (KSWO) -The City of Altus is implementing new utility payment policies after hundreds of current and former residents have skipped out on their bills.
Over the last few years, more than $1 million if utilities have gone unpaid by residents. The city recently sent letters to more than 300 residents who are more than 90 days behind on their bills, letting them know what their options are.
If citizens are willing to come in and pay their bill in full, the city will take a few penalties off and reduce the amount. If they don't, customers are required to pay off 10 percent of their debt each month.
Jan Neufeld, the chief financial officer for the City of Altus, says the problem really affects the city.
"It affects a lot. That's why we're addressing the issue and going after it. It's not going to be allowed anymore for people to not pay their bill and continue to have electric and water service," Neufeld said.
The city also has a new way for people to pay their bill, a machine called JACK, or Justified Automated Collections Kiosk. Residents can just pull up to the machine, scan the barcode on their bill and pay with cash, credit or check in a matter of minutes. Neufeld believes JACK will make things easier for everyone in the community.