Knox municipal water and sewer customers might be asked to sign a written contract for services in the near future. That subject was discussed at last week’s Knox City Council meeting.
Attorney David Matsey said most small town utilities demand a signed contract. He said the information could be used in court in case a party doesn’t pay or “skips” without making payment for the services provided.
One ticklish part of the contract would be how to identify the homeowner or tenant. Asking for a drivers license number or social security number must include protection for identity theft.
“A lot of the utility companies as for social security numbers,” said Clerk-Treasurer, Jeff Houston. “We do not ask for social security numbers and we don’t give out any information as far as when people call. We’re very careful about that, but I know that if you’re supposed to have a written protocol, we don’t really have one. I’ve downloaded the recommendations from the State before and I have it on file.”
Houston told how they collect bad debts now.
“We do file liens on the sewer and the trash portion of the bills. We have increased the deposits and we keep a ‘dead beat’ file and people seem to move back a lot. We are diligent about trying to make collections, but I’m open-minded about moving in a direction where we have a more formal procedure.”
Matsey said the City needs a written protocol of how the customer’s information customers is protected from identity theft.