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Cliff Williams / The Outlook Alexander City councilmember Jimmy Keel tells other councilmembers about his concerns of the city’s utility billing policy.

Alexander City councilmember Jimmy Keel wants to see a change made to utility billing cycles.

Changes to avoid the accumulation of delinquent utility bills were approved by the Alexander City City Council to go into effect in April, but the changes may not have taken into account how long it takes the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the bills.

“We are already hearing all kinds of complaints about the new policy,” Keel said. I got phone calls (Thursday). People are still not getting their utility bill. That thing needs to be looked at again.”

Keel said he understands the postal service has been delayed in its deliveries.

“They said it could take up to seven days right now,” Keel said.

The current city utility bill gives 20 days from when the bills are printed until they become delinquent. Then another 10 days before service may be turned off.

Keel said those on Social Security have a difficult time with the shortened time frame to pay as the benefit is only paid monthly.

“The delinquent period is not long enough,” Keel said. “We need to add 11 more days and make it 31 days. These people on Social Security would then swallow the pill but it was thrown at them and a lot were threatened to have turned off.”

Besides mail, Alexander City utility customers can get the amounts of their bill by logging in through the city’s website at alexandercityal.gov or by calling.

Even with the city’s technology options to pay a utility bill, Keel would like to see time added to the billing cycle.

“We need a policy in place with enough delinquent time it doesn’t affect people,” Keel said. “11 more days added to that is not going to kill Alexander City. It will probably solve the problem.”

Cliff Williams is a staff writer for Tallapoosa Publishers.