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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bishopville Council Adopts a Tough Stance on City's Debtors

Bishopville, SC

Tough economic times have forced the City of Bishopville to tighten the drawstrings on the city's purse.

During last evenings council meeting Mayor Tom Alexander read through a Debt Set-Off Resolution that will see the city start collection procedures against debtors who are on the delinquent lists with the city for services rendered.

According to Mayor Alexander these debtors created these debts when they moved from the city and failed to pay their water bill.

City Administrator, Gregg McCutchen said that the city has not been actively collecting these delinquent debts for a couple of years. McCutchen also said he has been talking with staff at the Municipal Association of South Carolina and has learned that the South Carolina Department of Revenue will assist the city in the collection of any delinquent account or debt owed to the city by setting off any refunds due the debtor from the Department of Revenue.

South Carolina state law provides for the collection of these debts through the "Setoff Debt Collection Act" under Title 12 – Chapter 56 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

The resolution was unanimously approved by the full council..... So, if you owe the City of Bishopville for services rendered and you are expecting refunds from the State of South Carolina, you can also expect to receive a letter similar to this one:

According to our records, you owe the City of Bishopville a debt in the amount of (amount of the debt), plus interest and any collection fees, if applicable, for (city services rendered). You are hereby notified of the (City of Bishopville's) intention to submit this debt to the South Carolina Department of Revenue to be set off against your individual income tax refunds until the debt is paid in full. Pursuant to the Setoff Debt Collection Act, this amount, plus all costs, will be deducted from your South Carolina individual income tax refunds unless you file a written protest within thirty days of the date of this notice. If you file a joint return with your spouse, this amount will be deducted from the total joint refunds without regard to which spouse incurred the debt or actually withheld the taxes. 

Council also heard from City Administrator Gregg McCutchen who reported he is continuing talks with County Administrator, Bobby Boland concerning jail fees. Also, that he has been in talks with Wayne George, Senior Field Services Manager for the SC Municipal Association concerning annexation in preparation to the expected annexation of property on the St. Charles highway.

Mayor Tom Alexander said that any dwelling annexed into the city must be connected to the city's water system. An amendment 09-03 to section 34-63 of the Code of Ordinances received first reading, last evening, without any objections from council and will be on the agenda for second reading at the next council meeting, as required by law before it can be adopted.

Council also adopted a Safety Resolution that reiterates the city's safety in the workplace concerns. Mayor Alexander said that all city employees should report to their supervisors any safety concerns. This resolution satisfies a requirement of the city's insurance provider. The resolution was adopted unanimously by council.

Council voted to enter executive session to discuss a contractual matter the city has with Lee County concerning the Sumter – Lee Regional Detention Center.

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