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Farmington council certifies delinquent payments

A total of 526 delinquent Farmington utility accounts were certified to be rolled into special assessments for those homeowners during Monday’s city council meeting.

The Farmington City Council held its annual certification of delinquent municipal services public hearing during this week’s regular meeting. As a result, the 526 homeowners who owe a collective $312,000 in outstanding utility fees will now pay for those fees through their property taxes.

By Minnesota statute, municipalities have the authority to certify delinquent utility accounts — for water, sewer, street light and garbage service — onto the property owners’ real estate taxes for collection. That means that instead of paying the fees directly, those homeowners will pay the fees by way of interest on their property tax statements.

All property owners with delinquent utility bills as of July 31 were notified of this week’s public hearing, Farmington finance director Robin Hanson said. As of Sept. 13, the city had 1,156 delinquent accounts, totaling $516,765. Property owners had until 2 p.m. Monday to pay their accounts.

By Monday’s meeting, 526 accounts remained delinquent, with a cumulative of $312,000 outstanding, Hanson said.

In her memo to council, Hanson noted the delinquent utility bills do not directly impact the city’s budget. The city gets paid when the revenue is recorded, not the payment. Delinquent bills impact the city’s internal cash flow because the city pays its bills on time, but usually does not receive those reimbursements from Dakota County for up to 18 months.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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