RIVER HEIGHTS — Water reconnection fees for River Heights residents who lose water service for nonpayment of the bill are about to become significantly lower. Tuesday, the River Heights City Council decided to reduce the cost of reconnecting water to $25 for the first offense, and then $50 for every subsequent offense. Currently, the fee is $25 for the first offense, then the fee doubles for every future reconnection. This means after the fourth reconnection, a resident would be paying a $200 fee on top of their water bill. “I’m bringing it up because I think they’re too steep,” said Councilman Doug Clausen. Clausen originally proposed the fee to be $50 for the first offense, then capping the fee at $75 for each future offense, but the council decided to lower it even further. A large factor in lowering the fees was the human side of the issue. The council felt that the fees were an unfair burden on people who are already struggling to pay the water bills. City Recorder Sheila Lind said it was difficult to turn people’s water off and to charge them to reconnect the water. The fees will still be enough to pay for the work being done, but they won’t be too much of a burden on the people paying them.
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