a_d
Sunday
80°
Chance Thunderstorms
33%
Sunday Night
58°
Thunderstorms
87%
Monday
62°
Chance Thunderstorms
53%
Monday Night
45°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
21%
Tuesday
59°
Breezy
17%
Tuesday Night
42°
Mostly Cloudy
13%
Wednesday
58°
Chance Rain Showers
36%
Wednesday Night
46°
Rain Showers Likely
62%
Thursday
57°
Chance Rain Showers
64%
Thursday Night
42°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
26%
Friday
61°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
22%
Friday Night
44°
Partly Cloudy
18%
3 Day
Extended
a_d
a_d
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Landlords may be responsible for renters' unpaid utility bills

By Amy Kronenberger
ROCKFORD - Council members on Tuesday agreed to amend a utility ordinance after eight renters left their homes last month without paying utility bills.
Current law places the responsibility of payment on the renter, not the landlord. Therefore, if the renter abandons the property or leaves without paying the bill, the village must cover the cost.
Council gave first reading to the amended ordinance which stipulates all new renters requesting utility service must pay a deposit of $225. The deposit would cover costs if the renter abandons, council members said. The money will be refunded when a renter moves, as long as all bills are paid.
Additionally, if a current renter receives a shut-off notice and service is terminated due to nonpayment, he or she will not receive service again until the owed payment and full deposit have been made.
Landlords may request billing to remain in their name and forego the renter's deposit. However, by doing so, the owner assumes responsibility for all utility fees.
"If a landlord cannot find a renter because they can't afford the deposit, then the landlord can keep the utility service in his name," council member Greg Pontsler said.
Council member Steve Gehle said they considered Celina's rule, which automatically reverts responsibility to the landlord if the renter fails to make payment. However, he said the state is working on legislation that would ban municipalities from requiring landlord responsibility.
"In this ordinance, we're giving landlords the choice," Gehle said.
The ordinance will have a second reading at council's Dec. 6 meeting.
Village administrator Jeff Long said demolition will begin soon on the buildings at the former water treatment plant. When this is completed, Long recommended giving the land to the school.
The land is located by the football stadium where the former swimming pool was located. Long said giving the land to the school will allow future growth of the school's athletic facilities.
Council also approved an Anthem health insurance policy for village employees. The policy will not deduct more money from the employees' paychecks, but they will have a higher deductible. The village will pay the same rate as this year.
Long said DP&L Energy soon will install six new street lights on Holly Lane. The lights will begin at U.S. 33 and continue to where the existing lights begin. DP&L wanted to install 10, but Long said six were plenty.
The lights will have acorn-shaped globes and are a finishing touch to this year's street reconstruction.
Long also said Wabash Communications was granted an easement and soon will install fiber optics from Market Street to the school for the school's use. The company plans to run fiber optics throughout the village in the next year or two, giving residents another option for cable and Internet service.
a_d
Additional online stories on this date
FORT RECOVERY - The village's 101-foot tall monument completed in 1913 to memorialize U.S. soldiers killed during the Indian Wars is in need of repair, according to various officials. [More]
A Celina woman walked away with $81,900 in cash and prizes Tuesday night as a contestant on the TV game show Wheel of Fortune.
Bonnie (Overman) Rut [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Zehringer gets new post
Crown buys vacant facility
Bonds will reduce interest, pay for improvements
Mercer SWCD holds banquet
No vote taken on state income tax takeover
Childcare business nets 10-year tax abatement
Tractor Supply opens in St. Marys
Floyd committed to Wright State
All-district honors for Versailles' Campbell and Olwin