SHEPHERDSVILLE - If you don’t pay your garbage bill in the city of Shepherdsville, you might be going to court.
The Shepherdsville City Council approved a revamped garbage ordinance as it is time once again to accept bids for the sanitation service.
Garbage collection is mandatory in the city of Shepherdsville and has resulted in lower rates, especially for residential customers.
In the new ordinance, city attorney Joseph Wantland said the biggest change is that it allows Shepherdsville to take delinquent garbage customers to Bullitt District Court. In the past, the ordinance said that the city “shall” take criminal action.
Councilman Rob Flaherty said he didn’t know whether or not it was a good idea to pursue criminal charges; however, with the change, it gives the city some options to how it would go about collecting the past-due payments.
The winning bidder still has the opportunity to take civil action against the property owners who don’t pay their bills.
Wantland said property owners should quickly learn that paying the garbage bill would be much cheaper than facing court costs, which exceed $150.
Councilman Larry Hatfield said it wasn’t fair that 75 percent of the people pay for the 25 percent who don’t.
He would like the city have the ability to file liens on the property for non-payment.
Wantland said the criminal court action has more teeth than a lien.
Customers are provided weekly collection; commercial customers may opt for more frequent pickups due to individual needs.
If a property owner fails to pay his or her bill within 30 days, the code enforcement officer may file criminal charges and ask for fines of $2 per day of non-payment.
Upon the second offense, the fine goes to $5 a day and a third violation reaches $10 a day.
A major concern for haulers has been the non-payment rate since there is no provision allowing the cutting off of services.
Wantland felt the new ordinance would strongly encourage property owners to pay their bills.
Every city in Bullitt County has mandatory garbage collection and contracts with a sanitation company. Reasons behind the action included lower rates, cleaning up the city of debris and cutting down on the number of heavy trucks traveling the city streets.