- It's becoming a problem for landlords throughout Rhinelander.
Tenants who are supposed to pay their water bills, but fail to do so.
When that happens, the water keeps running at the landlord's expense.
But that may soon change.
City leaders are looking at a water disconnect policy that would shutoff water if bills are left unpaid.
Rhinelander City Administrator Blaine Oborn says the blueprint comes from cities like Merrill and Kronenwetter.
"The current way it is, as a landlord, they can end up with 12 months of water and wastewater bill on the tax roll," Oborn says. "It's difficult for them."
Oborn says the city would move to a quarterly disconnect policy and it would be more labor intensive for the city.
"If we do lose the ability to put things on the tax roll then we're talking about a higher rate," Oborn says. "What we're going to have to do is pass the cost of people not paying onto the people who are paying. We want to mitigate that. We don't want good customers who are paying their bill to subsidize those who are not paying their bill."
He says the city doesn't shut water off at all now.
Oborn says "The City [of Rhinelander] is in the process of thoroughly examining the cost of implementation and ongoing costs with a disconnection policy. In light of potentially high labor costs the City will also explore other options to address concerns of rental property owners regarding tenants not paying City water/sewer bills."
Story By: Matt Doyle