A potentially alarming looking item on Monday's Council agenda is no need for concern.
On Monday, the Town asked Council to approve the writing-off of over $5,000 in unpaid water bills. CAO Darryl Drohomerski explained the situation.
"There was ablout $5,100 roughly in outstanding utility accounts. It's all water utility accounts, so there was a few residential and one or two commercial accounts in that."
Fortunately, he pointed out, just because the accounts are written off, it doesn't mean the Town will stop trying to get its money.
"We don't stop trying to collect them, but we have to be able to write them off to be able to close the books on that year. We try to collect where it's shown on the books and then we simply, at that point, write it off on the books. So, that's what we've asked [Council] for."
This isn't the first time utility account balances have been written off, nor will it be the last.
"We usually do this every year," said Drohomerski. "So, next year we'll do ones that were uncollectable in 2017, but again, they could have been incurred in 2016 or 2015, and we've determined from an accounting standpoint that they're uncollectable and we call it 'bad debt.'"
Writing off 'bad debt' is common with businesses and is part of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles that govern the accounting world.
In Feb. 2017, the Town changed its Water and Wastewater by-law. Documents at Monday's Council meeting explained that this change disallowed tenant water utility accounts saying: "utility accounts must remain in the property title holder's name, meaning that the risk of financial loss due to utilities bad debt is largely mitigated."