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NASTY AFFAIR: Delinquent customers owe Sewage Department $1.7m

BVI News Online - Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Head of the Water and Sewage Department, Perline Scatliffe-Leonard

The authorities have promised to intensify efforts aimed at collecting payment for future sewage bills as well as to rake in about $1.7 million that is collectively owed by persons who use the government’s sewage system.

Minister responsible for the Department of Water and Sewage Mark Vanterpool yesterday signaled the warning during a press briefing in the BVI capital, Road Town.

“The Department plans to intensify efforts to ensure that payment for the use of our sewage system is made. Like you pay for water and you pay for electricity, you also should be paying for connecting to our sewage system.”

The minister did not elaborate, but head of the Department of Water and Sewage Perline Scatliffe-Leonard told BVI News Online that some of the outstanding bills date as far back as 2005.

“We have about 1.7 million outstanding, and that is going down daily because we do have various payment plans for persons with high amounts,” she further said.

Scatliffe-Leonard noted that the rate of delinquency among commercial customers has declined.

The main delinquents however are residential customers who are charged an average monthly bill of $27.

Most of those delinquent residents are from Cane Garden Bay, Tortola.

When asked to identify the main areas of delinquency, Scatliffe-Leonard told BVI News Online: “On the Cane Garden Bay (CGB) side, 100% of residents are not paying (sewage bills).

“In Road Town, there were issues with the collection and I am very pleased to say that we have customers coming forward now and taking on the responsibility and doing what they have to do. So, we are making some headway with the Road Town customers.

“East End is not fully completed as yet. So, we are still working on getting those folks fully hooked up to the (sewage) system, and of course they will be paying as well.”

Bill merger

A seeming indictment on the water and Sewage Department, Scatliffe-Leonard stated that customers sometimes pay up whenever they are made aware of their delinquency.

According to her, some usually say they were not aware they should pay sewage bills.

“It’s not an issue that they are not willing (to pay); it’s just an issue of ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘it stopped and no one charged us,” Scatliffe-Leonard explained.

“The businesses in particular have been coming forward and paying their full amounts once we have identified them and had discussions with them.”

Despite the different explanations given by delinquent customers, Scatliffe-Leonard underscored the importance of paying all sewage bills.

“We all have to take a little bit of responsibility to do what we have to do to make sure that we maintain, we upgrade, and we do what we have to do for growth and development purposes.”

Scatliffe-Leonard further stated that the Department has been trying to merge both the water and sewage bills in an effort to improve compliance regarding payment for connection to the government’s sewage system.

“For effectiveness and for efficiency too, we are trying to work to get that (sewage) bill merged with the water bill. So, when you come to pay your water bills, you also pay your sewage bill for where it applies.”

Copyright 2014 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.



32 Comments

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  1. Albion
    July 24, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Water and sewerage has always been a total shambles. If they were a real business rather than a public utility they would have been bankrupt decades ago. I have no idea who manages or what their experience is, but they badly, badly need to bring in some new management to sort it out.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Missing Link
    July 24, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    Isn’t WSD the same Department that the ESTEEMED PS was credited with bringing up to par and being of stellar service and operations? So it was all a lie? Say it ain’t so LMAOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Blak
    July 24, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    Give me a contract on the side and a lawyer, I will GET THAT MONEY like I always do HA!

    Reply to this comment
    • Mastermind
      July 24, 2013
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      Boss go siddung and do the bank work from chatting s*&t!!

      Reply to this comment
      • Blak
        July 25, 2013
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Bank? You late …mind your GOT DAMN BUSINESS.

        Reply to this comment
  4. sam the man
    July 24, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

    the billing system in w&s is in shambles madam you were against changing that system. never thought that it will come back and haunt you. the vip gov give cane garden bay residents a free ticket as far as paying there sewer bills. why should any place else pay. can u right that wrong? lets wait and see

    Reply to this comment
  5. MeknoSense
    July 24, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    CGB have alot of residents and there is no way 100% of an area would not pay a bill unless

    1. They all conspired OR
    2. W&S (or moreso the accounting department of W&S) mucked up on their billing.

    Mrs. Leonard should clarify her statement to the press which of the two it is.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Seeker of TRUTH!!
    July 24, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    Typical of BVI. Milk the poor Government and still complaining. Land taxes, sewage fee, water bill, we don’t want to pay anything around here but want contracts. lmao!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Yuck
    July 24, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    How people in Cane Garden Bay geh soooo NAAASSTTY?! :lol:

    Reply to this comment
  8. well
    July 24, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    If all are not paying then it is obvious there is some problem going on.

    Reply to this comment
  9. CGB resident
    July 24, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

    Well this is the FIRST I am hearing of such a thing. We don’t pay sewerage bills because we don’t get sewerage bills. lol wow. Don’t put Cane Garden Bay residents on blast on the news for your dept’s mistake. Well sah. Is the sewerage bill linked to the water bill? Cause some of us do not use government water…

    Reply to this comment
    • Alright
      July 24, 2013
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      you don’t pay or get electricity bills because you were told it was free.

      Reply to this comment
      • Alright
        July 24, 2013
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        You don’t pay or get “sewerage” bills because your responsibility was waived. Ask who know.

        Reply to this comment
  10. Well Sah
    July 24, 2013
    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

    100% Cane Garden Bay not paying??!! Well I will be darned. Then these same folk with their high and mighty selves are against the NHI. No wonder, they dont intend to pay any bills!! Shame on you all!! Oh wait, maybe they are part of the Virgin Islands.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Boom and Bust
    July 24, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    The MCW has floated the merger of BVIEC and WSD effective January 14. This merge may have the potential of improving the delivery of electricity, water and sewerage services. But from the outside as a customer, the departments do not appear to demonstrate models of efficiency and effectiveness. The managerial and operational effectiveness of the departments need to be markedly improved before trying to effect a merger. For example, water and sewage is in the same department under the same department head yet there is a struggle to merge billing; merging billings should be a low hanging fruit. Ms. Scatliffe-Leonard just assumed the helm of the department so she should not shoulder all the blame.

    WSD should deliver high quality services and customers should pay their bills in a timely manner. The WSD needs to collect the revenues to deliver the services. Without revenue, it cannot deliver services in the quantity and quality demanded. Funding are needed for day-to-day operation, maintenance, repair, process improvement and re-engineering, capacity enhancement and upgrades, modernizing…..etc.

    The bottom line is that WSD must improve its strategic restructuring, management and operations before merging with other entity(s); and so too should BVIEC. If individually the departments are struggling, how will they perform collectively in a merger? Will the weaknesses and threats go away with a merger?

    Reply to this comment
    • Alright
      July 25, 2013
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      you on target and i hope they reading.

      Reply to this comment
  12. tallyman
    July 24, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    i dont understand how come i barley have water in the east and my bill so high make it worst i dont own a washing machine something got to be wrong either they are not reading the meter right or someone using my water cause all i do flush toilet and bathe etc and you want tell me for 2 mthns my water bill is 150.00 i pay every two month for years and my bill never pass 60.00 for that two month.something aint adding up

    Reply to this comment
    • Guest
      July 24, 2013
      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

      Same with BVIEC. Why are they not reading the BILLS???

      You’re telling us to conserve and when we do the bill does not change?

      I guarantee BVIEC are estimating our bills each month and not reading the meters. How about I take a pic of my reading and compare it to the bill when I go in each time.

      This is the height of nonsense.

      Reply to this comment
      • High Tension
        July 24, 2013
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

        I agree with you 100%!!! I do everything within my power to conserve electricity on a monthly basis, unplugged whatever wasnt necessary and went away for weeks. Guess what???!! Still no decrease in my bill, things that make you really wonder.

        Reply to this comment
        • Guest
          July 25, 2013
          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

          Exactly!! I went away for 3 weeks, came back and it was higher than the previous month and I did check to see if the reading covered the period I was away.

          What is the point of conserving if they are still ripping us off?

          Reply to this comment
  13. .
    July 24, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    Election going come and we still cant flush.

    Reply to this comment
  14. ndp
    July 24, 2013
    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Sht worth money now, Poor man na go have ass now.
    ndp next going put laxative in the water so we most sht more often.

    Reply to this comment
  15. GOSH
    July 24, 2013
    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    It is so strange how people don’t intend to pay their bills but want everything done by the government. stupids

    Reply to this comment
    • CGB resident
      July 24, 2013
      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

      While I would normally agree with a statement like this. In this case it is unfair on the residents who have never received a bill and were unaware there was even a cost. The workers from Water and Sewerage come and maintain the system regularly, but yet it has taken them EIGHT years to realize that no one has paid a bill? Did they really think 100% of the population in a given catchment area would purposefully not pay their bill? Especially if they have been paying their water bills? And then you’re going to post an article online referring to people as delinquent? Ayo don’t start me up.

      Reply to this comment
      • July 24, 2013
        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

        You use the service pay up- simple, you really think that the gov’t supply water that flush your Tlet and water ur garden is for free? come on

        Reply to this comment
        • @forbidden truth
          July 24, 2013
          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

          The govt does not supply me with water. My cistern does. So you come on.

          Reply to this comment
        • lawyer
          July 25, 2013
          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

          ok – any one using a cistern would not have to pay for sewage. Based on the Director, water and sewage bills would be merged. That means, IF you are hooked up to the Gove water System you will get a monthly water bill (at least for the meter charge) your sewage bill will be added (fixed charge) and Wulla!! you will have a monthly bill to pay!

          Reply to this comment
          • Strupes
            July 25, 2013
            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            And you really had to explain common sense! things that make wanna :cry: for our people. I guess them right,it ain’t every man jack have common sense.

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