Atkinson will now shut off water for late payments

ATKINSON, Illinois  --   The city of Atkinson is implementing new rules on late payments for water bills starting in November of 2018.

The city will now turn water off after 10 days of a late payment. Before, they would not shut off water as long as any payment was made to the account, but now the bill must be paid in full.

Last month, September 2018, the city had $5,000 in late payments. Board Member Bobby Burton says about 15 households are not paying their bills. Burton says they need the money to make improvements around town.

"The money will make a big difference," Burton said. "Then the city will be able to make more improvements. We're gonna spend a lot of money in the next couple years, so we need it."

Burton says the city plans to replace fire hydrants around town. They have not been replaced since 1917.  The city will issue a warning before they turn water off.

"If you're late on your water bill, the second month you'll get a tag on your bill that says you've got 10 days or we're going to shut you off," Burton said.  The new rule will start in November.