City of York will offer one-time amnesty for unpaid sewer bills

YORK, Pa. -- The City of York is flushing years of unpaid sewer bills down the toilet.

It's meant to help customers who owe the city more than $250.

"They should really pay attention to the website, press releases, and sewer bills because there is an amnesty program we will be putting forth," explained Philip Given, Director of Economic and Community Development.

For some people at or below the federal poverty line that means a one-time free pass; their bills will be forgiven.

You can read about the poverty guidelines here. 

For others who have fallen behind on payments, it means new repayment options with no interest.

"Unfortunately, the City of York, just wasn't built to collect bills in 2019, so we're excited to move forward," added Given.

Besides losing money from unpaid bills over the years, Given says the system wasn't working.

"There have been billing inaccuracies," he said. "Bills have been issued late. Payments have been posted late."

Come Spring 2020, York Water Company will takeover; it will charge the city $2.50 cents for every bill it processes.

"The benefit to the City Of York is they're going to have a higher collection on their sewage delinquencies. For the customers out there, the benefit to them, they're going to have a much more predictable, much more accurate billing process. They'll know when the bills are coming due, how much those bills are for, and when they're due back to the York Water Company," explained JT Hand, Chioe

Some people don't see the benefits; they shared concern on Facebook.

"We understand the concern," added Given. "The city administration, city council doesn't like to see that money quote walk out the door, but realistically, we've been leaving that money on the table, and we don't want to shut folks water off, and really, that is the only backup procedure we have at this point to make those collections."

Officials say the workers who did process bills for the City of York will not lose their jobs.

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