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Grace Period For Utility Bills Possible in Sparta

Ordinance would allow residents 10 days to pay solid waste management bill before being charged a late fee.

The Sparta Township Council reintroduced an ordinance at Tuesday night's meeting that would permit residents to have a 10-day grace period before paying a late fee on their solid waste management bill.

Mayor Jerry Murphy said that the final hearing and adoption of the ordinance is possible at the next hearing on Oct. 23.

Ordinance 12-17, which was originally introduced two months ago, would charge residents an extra 8 percent of their total bill once the grace period is up. Once the additional fees would accrue to $1,500, the interest rate would go up to 18 percent.

The original ordinance called for a 10 percent late fee, but township officials scaled it down to be consistent with the late fees for delinquent taxes, which is also 8 percent.

"We thought 10 percent was too much, and 8 percent was fair because it's a number that they're familiar with already," Murphy said.

This ordinance does not include water and sewer fees, which have separate late charges. There is no grace period for those fees, and instead there is a one time penalty of 10 percent.

The next council meeting is on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the municipal building located at 65 Main Street.

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