During the final Wellington City Council meeting of the year, a follow-up of responsibilities of delinquent bills was discussed. This was to determine whether the responsibility of utility bills would be placed upon the tenant or the landlord of a residence.
Councilwoman Bethany Perea stated that they have run into issues with discrepancies in each situation and that the city currently does not have anything in writing that determines who is responsible for utility bills. The city has had issues with renters opening utilities under their name for a residence that already had an account, creating two accounts for the same address, leaving a delinquent charge on the former.
The main question for the council is whether the responsibility should rest on the current renter or the landlord. Christian Bryner, Carbon County Attorney, stated that he would be willing to review a policy once something is drafted. This would make the job of those in the city office much easier.
Mayor Brad Timothy stated that he believed that the utilities should be in the landlord’s name. He said that it is difficult when tenants move out and leave the area, due to not being able to locate them and resolve the bill. The issue is still there for someone else that is coming in and starting a new account. The mayor said that if it goes to the landlord, it helps the city.
One landlord that was present during the meeting said that her tenant came and established the utilities and she was the one that was responsible for them as they are running through the house. The council assured the landlord that this policy will be going forward and that they are unable to pursue anything that is behind, beyond going to court.
The city is proposing that the utilities be in the name of a landlord, but still payable by a tenant. Duplicates of the utility bills may be sent out, one to the address of the residence and one to the landlord, and that there will be a stipulation in place in order for the bill to not add up. Councilwoman Perea stated that she will draft something to have Bryner review.
The council also spoke on dumping issues within the city. Councilwoman Perea informed her fellow council members that she has not been able to find a specific policy regarding dumping.
There is a particular property that deals with a lot of dumping issues. When there is heavy rain, his property floods with branches, concrete, leaves and garbage that does not get picked up. The property owner stated that he has footage and documentation of the dumping occurring.
It is becoming a large problem and the council agreed to look at no dumping within the city limits. Imposing a fine was discussed as well as taking guidance from the policy that Carbon County has in place.
Creating a policy and signage to signify where dumping is not allowed was agreed upon by the council.