Dothan Man says Utility Payment Unfair for Residents!

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

An angry Dothan resident tells city commissioners they are legally robbing taxpayers by way of utility payments.

Dothan resident Malcolm Black had to be escorted out of the city commission meeting chambers on Tuesday. He believes his five minute time limit to complain wasn’t enough.

Minutes before the uproar, he called the city's implementation of utility payments unfair, especially to the poor.

He says payment lines are too long, the utility office closes too early and says the payment deadline is inconsistent, so people always pay late, which he says the city benefits from.

"I believe the real reason for this change in this billing schedule is to increase the revenue for the city," said Black

The city once had three billing cycles, but last October began billing daily.

Still, Dothan Mayor Pat Thomas says he stands behind the way the city does business.

"The fact of the matter is city rates are well below what the other two carriers have, our policies allow longer grace periods, more extensions,’ said Mayor Thomas.

As far as those long extended lines Black spoke of, the city says it is a problem and will try to get it fixed.

But as for the office staying open past 4PM, clerks take at least two hours after locking the doors to square everything away. So that time won't change.

There are other options for customers. There is an after-hours drop box, you can mail in your bill, or call your payment in over the phone.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Billy Location: southside on Apr 26, 2007 at 02:40 PM
    it is kind of bad now i'm on s.s. and i don't get paid till the 3rd of the month and my bill is due the 2nd of the month
  • by Paula Location: Dothan on Apr 26, 2007 at 06:58 AM
    The billing cycle is bad we dont get enough time to pay our bill,and our bill keeps going up and down we dont change anything.
  • by Angela Location: Dothan on Apr 26, 2007 at 06:28 AM
    I agree with Mr. Black and something needs to be done. I am a small business owner in Dothan so I pay to bills and it's not always easy. Some months I am billed for 15 days and other months I am billed for 45 days. It is not right and its not fair. I do have a constanct source for income but what about those who do not. The extensions they give are unfair, the long lines are TERRIBLE. The commissioners do not think on the level of the people of the city. Half of Dothan is broke. They all have money so its easy for them to say how and when we should pay our bills. It's wrong and something needs to be done about it.
  • by Ann Location: Dothan on Apr 25, 2007 at 09:01 PM
    I feel like Mr. Black,they are robbing us.we moved.but before we moved we paid a bill.then when the bill came at the other house.they had a bill on our bill talking about from the other house.when ask how's that.they told me that they read my cycle on the 28th but they read it a day how it get so high.they also charge's for moving your light why do we pay depoist if we have to pay to have our lights's not wright.something need to be done.
  • by jules Location: dothan on Apr 25, 2007 at 09:34 AM
    It seems we dont have as much time to pay our bill as previous. To top it off we have to pay to be a customer of dothan utilities each month. I have always disagreed with that fee.
  • by George Location: coffee springs on Apr 25, 2007 at 08:14 AM
    I believe that some utilty companies all over the wiregrass is guilty of simular things they change rates, Then expect our curticy even when they won't listen to our situation. the local governments are just as bad if not worse. the media is a powerful thing continue coverage and watch things change.
  • by Angie Location: dothan on Apr 25, 2007 at 06:46 AM
    My utilities have never been disconnected. That was until last week. Where I was paying my bill on the 13th or 14th of each month, last week my lights were cut off on the 11th. I was at work and it was after hours. I have three children! We were very upset!
  • by chris herring Location: webb, al. on Apr 24, 2007 at 08:19 PM
    though im not a citizen of dothan, i agree with mayor thomas. i have personaly known him for 16 years and i can confidently say that he is not out to rob anyone. i wish every month that i had city of dothan utilities!!!
  • by Kingsley Location: Dothan on Apr 24, 2007 at 06:48 PM
    I wish Dothan Utilities would allow us to pay our bill online. That would do away with some of the folks in line.
  • by kenneth Location: dothan on Apr 24, 2007 at 05:33 PM
    i feel the same way as mr black last month my bill was $304.00 this month $171.00 we did not change the way the we used power but the bill did up one month down the next poor dothan.
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