Massey said they were starting to see some of the phone calls drop off, but when the new month of bills came out, phone calls picked up again.
The city took over the billing, with first bills due in December, from the Danville Sanitary District. The Danville Sanitary District now bills only for its water treatment services. The city of Danville billing and payments are now sent and collected by the city finance department directly.
Massey said it was not the bank’s fault, and citizens who want to can feel free to continue to pay there.
She said that was due to two reasons: they haven’t corrected all senior citizen discount billing (senior citizens were billed more than they should), and there was an issue with payments made at First Financial Bank due to a city software issue.
She added the city continues to address problems if billing incorrectly says a customer has a previous balance.
She said it took a couple days to correct the software issue after they were notified.
Massey said another employee is joining the finance office on Jan. 10 to help with the billing and collection.
“Although we’ve had a lot of hurdles, it’s been a learning experience and a transition,” Massey said.
She said if a citizen stilll can’t reach a city employee by phone, feel free to try again, or email the city or municipal online payment portal. “I think the tide is turning,” Massey said, saying that she thinks they are over the hump. “We’re going in a good direction.”
Also at Tuesday night’s virtual Danville City Council meeting, the council approved accepting and placing on file the city treasurer’s report for September 2021. Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. also reported he’s about 95 percent better from having COVID-19.
Williams said other city employees also have had and some remain down with COVID-19. He said the omicron variant is causing a lot of breakthroughs and is spreading quickly. If people are willing to get vaccinated, Williams believes being vaccinated helped him from getting very sick or being hospitalized.
Ahrens believes the city should use other options, to ensure the public can comment on issues, instead of again having to submit comments ahead of time to be read by Williams at the virtual meetings. In public comments, resident Doug Ahrens sent in a comment read by Williams about public participation during remote city council meetings.