Leitchfield Utilities Commission Chairman Robert Crawford announced this week that the city will begin removing all natural gas services that have been inactive for five consecutive years.
Crawford made the announcement during the regular Thursday, Feb. 2 meeting of the Utilities Commission and said the policy comes as a result of new safety regulations on natural gas distribution.
According to Crawford, customers will not be charged for the removal of the inactive services, but if customers request natural gas service at a later date, they will be charged an installation fee, as well as a new deposit fee.
The Utilities Commission then voted to send a notice of the new policy to its natural gas customers.
Following the vote, Leitchfield Utilities Superintendent Dwight Embry said that, currently, the utilities charge customers $50 for the removal of service.
However, on the basis of the new policy in which the utilities will not charge customers for the removal of inactive services, Embry requested the Utilities Commission eliminate the $50 charge, which he said is “unnecessary,” on the stipulation that customers pay the installation fee plus a deposit if they request a service at a later date.
Because this request was first introduced during Thursday’s meeting, a decision was tabled until the next Utilities Commission meeting.
Anyone with questions regarding the new inactive natural gas service policy is encouraged to contact Embry by calling 270-259-4034 or by visiting him in person at Leitchfield City Hall, located at 314 West White Oak St. in Leitchfield.
In other business:
*Leitchfield Utilities Attorney David Vickery said it has come to the attention of the utilities that some customers are using a third-party bill paying service called DOXO to organize and manage their accounts and pay their utility bills.
However, Vickery said DOXO and other third-party organizations providing these types of services are not affiliated with the City of Leitchfield, and some customers using this service have received late fees because their bill payments did not reach the city by the due date.
In a notice sent to utility customers, the city reminds customers that the late payment of their utility bill and/or the payment of a late fee can result in their utility services’ being disconnected, as well as their being forced to pay a “substantial reconnect fee.”
The city encouraged customers to pay their bills in person at Leitchfield City Hall; by check mailed to the City of Leitchfield, 314 West White Oak St., P.O. Box 398, Leitchfield, KY 42755-0398; by credit card either at City Hall or online at leitchfield.ky.gov; or by direct bill pay set up through City Hall with their particular bank by bank draft.
Customers with questions are encouraged to call City Hall at 270-259-4034.
*Crawford announced that, through a routine bill check, Leitchfield Utilities noticed around 70 natural gas customers had been overcharged over a period of around 15 months.
The utilities are crediting the overcharged customers’ accounts, and the overcharges are believed to have been caused by a program update that bumped the customers into the incorrect billing category, Crawford said.
“We regret the error took place, but we found it, and we’re making it right,” said Crawford.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.