Louisville Water to close Burkland office; open new payment site in Shepherdsville City Hall

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Customers of the Louisville Water Co. in Bullitt County will soon have a new place to pay their bills or to seek service.

The Shepherdsville City Council agreed to a lease for space in its government center on Conestoga Parkway.

The new office, which will be located in space currently used by the city in the front lobby, will open in a couple of months.

Kelley Dearing Smith, manager of strategic communications for LWC, said the current facility on Burkland Boulevard would be closed.

The company will have a customer service representative at the office from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will also be a secure drop-box for water payments after business hours.

Deering Smith said the new location would provide more parking and it is a more convenient location for the customers.

On average, the present site had 1,500 customer visits and Deering Smith estimates those numbers will increase at the new location.

During Monday’s council meeting, city attorney Joseph Wantland said it would be a good working relationship with LWC with hopes that it might help Shepherdsville even more down the road.

Having trouble getting residents to pay their garbage bills, Wantland was hoping for some assistance from LWC.

Amber Halloran, vice president for LWC, said that the city’s sewer bills are currently listed on the water bills. That is not a problem.

To place the garbage bills on the water statements is not possible under the current billing system, said Halloran. A new system is slated for 2015 and she said there would be a possibility of adding that bill.

She said while LWC is able to cut off water service for non-payment of a sewer bill, the company would have no ability to do that if someone doesn’t pay a sanitation bill.

Wantland said there is a major problem with city residents not paying their garbage bills, a default rate he estimated at 10 percent.

Taking the violators to court has not been successful but Wantland said it could be done in a way that the city’s code enforcement officer might be able to write citations.

In terms of the city lease agreement, it will be for a five-year period at a rate of 4600 per month.

It will take a month or so to get converted.

Any customer, including those from Jefferson County, could pay their bills or seek information from the Shepherdsville location.

The city is going to have a wall installed in the front area to divide a current office space.

In relation to the garbage ordinance, Wantland presented a first reading and hoped for feedback from the council.

The ordinance again sets out fines for non-payment. Under the contract, the garbage hauler is required to provide service.

The sticking point remains how to collect from those who don’t pay.