City struggles with unpaid fees
Committee considers denying building permits
By Bert Lehman
Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the committee at its Oct. 2 meeting that the goal would be to increase the collection of those fees.
“It has been noticeable that we have difficulties collecting these assessments and these fees, or unpaid bills,” Eveland said. “We’re looking at finding additional ways to encourage residents to either do what they’re supposed to do or [in a timely manner] pay the fine.”
Eveland acknowledged that before enacting such a policy, the city would have to consider the impact it would have on inhibiting development in the city.
Committee member Jim Supanich said he liked the idea of trying to enforce the collection of unpaid fees. He also asked how many building permits the city issues each year.
Eveland said she didn’t have that information readily available.
“I also like the idea,” said committee member Julie Stumbris. “However I don’t want us to be considered negative against growth.”
Eveland said most of the unpaid fees are not manufacturing based. Rather they are for unpaid fire calls, snow removal and grass cutting.
Even though Supanich said he liked the idea of trying to enforce the collection of unpaid fees, he said he was concerned that if the city enacted this, it would be creating another ordinance that it won’t enforce.
“I don’t think it’s going to clear up the fact that we’re still going to have at least some people who won’t pay,” Supanich said.
He said he feels the city needs to find solutions that would have a bigger impact on collecting unpaid fees.
Eveland said currently unpaid fees go on the property tax bill at the end of each year.
She added that the city currently does not charge late fees for unpaid balances.
Clintonville City Attorney Keith Steckbauer recommended the city research how other municipalities handle unpaid fees.
The committee agreed with Steckbauer’s recommendation, directing him and Eveland to research how other municipalities deal with this issue.