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Cairo officials have responded to leaders of the local chapter of the NAACP after the city council was challenged for its utility billing practices regarding late fees and reconnection fees.
On Feb. 12, NAACP President Cindy Williams appeared before the mayor and council to level a complaint with the city with regards to utility billing practices that were in contradiction to the city’s code of ordinances.
Last September, the city council voted to revise the wording in the ordinance to match the billing practices in place since 1991. Mayor Booker Gainor had brought the matter to the attention of the council earlier in the year.
The city has been consistent with following the billing policy that is published on the monthly utility bill, but as it has been pointed out, that policy did not match the policy established in the city code of ordinances.
NAACP officials indicated they were seeking relief for utility ratepayers who had been charged fees that were not in compliance with the code.
On Tuesday, Cairo city manager Chris Addleton issued this response to President Williams.
“Cindy, The City Council has directed me to do some additional research and investigation of potential options to resolve this issue. Specifically we are looking at our capability to obtain past pertinent data. The City of Cairo is committed to resolving this issue and finding a reasonable solution.”
Approximately $200,000 in late fees and reconnection fees are paid to the city by delinquent utility ratepayers per year, according to the city manager.