HITCHCOCK

City leaders are praising a new utility billing system for its role in a financial turnaround, but some residents argue the change hasn’t come without harming some of the community’s most vulnerable.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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(2) comments

Samuel Collins III

I understand the frustration with the changes and I wish they had phased them in, but they chose to make immediate adjustments. Instead of peeling the band-aid off slowly they just ripped it off. My grandmother watches her bill every month and she too is upset with any increase. For decades the city has not had a city administrator and it resulted in hundreds of thousands being wrote off several years. Late fees for water bills were waived for some residents, but not all. That was unfair to everyone else. In order to improve the city these are some of the hard decisions that have to be made. It is uncomfortable, but if we are to improve it must be done. I don't think there is a one day cutoff policy, but I need to find out more information. Improvements to city infrastructure has been deferred for decades and the only way to get these issues corrected the city staff and elected officials must make the unpopular decisions to correct the problems. The city has been in such bad shape so long that wrong looked right and now right looks wrong. Like difficult physical therapy that is painful, the only way to improve is to push through it. This is not going to be easy, but when we come out on the other side the city of Hitchcock will be in a much better position. This is not a popular stand to take, but it is the right thing to improve the city. #TrustTheProcess

Ron Shelby

Consider that one group you hit hard are those that are unexpectedly hospitaliized for a stroke, heart attack, fall or some major accident. Those are the ones most likely to get hit with the late penalty, if given only ten days and 30 days for shut-off. Worse, that 10 day billing period is cut even shorter by the time it takes USPS to deliver mail, and not all residents have the ability to utilize online billing for multiple reasons.

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