Friday, April 23, 2010

Dowagiac City Council To Increase Utility Deposits to $500.00

Just when you thought you have heard everything, along comes the Dowagiac City Council with with another decision that is going to make it impossible for people to move to Dowagiac.
At the council meeting Monday night the council will be doing a first reading changing the deposit for electric, water and sewer from a little over $200.00 to $500.00.
How many people can afford to pay first and last months rent, security deposit and now $500.00 security deposit for utilities?
The city is going to say that they need this money to recover money lost by people that don't pay their bills. AEP doesn't ask for a deposit this high and I am sure most other utility companies don't either.
Losing money for non payment is part of running a utility company and the city knew the risks when they decided to take over utilities for Dowagiac. It is all part of doing businesses, all businesses run into customers that do not pay their bill. If the city has a customer that refuses to pay take them to court, don't pass on their loss to new utility customers.
Another disturbing issue with this new deposit is the city wants a cop of the renters lease. many leases contain private phone numbers, social security numbers, these are things that the city doe not need to have available to any city employee. I can understand they may need the SS number for the account holder, but many leases have the SS numbers of everyone on the lease.
We already know that paperwork flows around city hall like water under a bridge, remember the school records that pedophile city manager had in his desk? The city never could explain how he got them.
Also at the next meeting they are gong to be voting to apply for more state funds to build more apartments, if they raise the deposit to $500.00 how many people will be able to afford to move into these new apartments.
This is a bad decision for the renter as well as the landlords. If this increase passes how many landlords will have vacant buildings because renters cannot afford the $500.00 deposit.
It is time for residents to take a stand and call their councilman or show up at the meeting Monday night and say enough is enough and put a stop to this increase that is almost TRIPLE of the current deposit rates.
Just remember if you keep quiet and move to another apartment or house the new deposit will be passed on to you. It doesn't; matter if you are a current customer.
It also states that the city will keep the renters deposit until the account is CLOSED, this means that the city will have your $500.00 forever and will earn interest off of your money. Remember a public utility has to pay you interest on your money but the city doesn't have to.
Could this be where the money to fix the streets is coming from?
What about any students that want to move into Dowagiac and not stay in a dorm at SMC? SMC is growing every year and students will start looking for housing in town. College students cannot afford a $500.00 Deposit.
Everyone needs to mark you calendars for the meeting Monday night and tell the Dowagiac City Council that you will not sit back and allow them to almost triple the utility deposits.
Click Here to read the new deposit information.
Howard Hall

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