Winona Lake temporarily sets aside utility late fees

By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WINONA LAKE —  Winona Lake’s utility billing system continues to be a mess.

Clerk-Treasurer Heather James was given permission Tuesday night to temporarily halt the issuance of late fees for town utilities because of confusion and problems with its software company that issues the bills.

The problem has resulted in inconsistent billing patterns and at least one incident a double billing.

One property owner had questions about his bill, but the conversation he was having with James was eventually cut off as the back-and-forth became more engaged and would be better suited for later when the two can look specifically at the homeowner’s circumstances.

Council agreed to waive all late fees for town residents from October 2023 to February 2024.

The software company, Keystone, has been experiencing some problems since last fall.

James said she hopes they can work with the software company to come up with a reset for everybody.

“I hope so,” she said. “I was on the phone with them for several hours today trying to work through issues. I’m hopeful, but I can’t guarantee it.”

In a separate matter, town council denied a request by Merrywood mobile home park on US 30 that had sought to waive late fees due to inconsistencies and confusion.

The company did not make a presentation and the council turned down the request unanimously.