UPDATED: Monday, May 28, 2012 - 2:15pm
COLLEGE STATION -- What happens if you don't pay your utility bill?
Well, in College Station, the city has to pick up the tab and that's costing them big bucks.
Last year alone, the city had to write off more than $600,000 in unpaid bills but now they think they've found a solution to help the problem.
An ordinance passed by city council Thursday night will now require a deposit for utility customers in College Station.
"If they're a homeowner they'll automatically be exempt from the deposit as long as they pay on time each month," said Cathy Stark. "If they're a renter they'll be required to put that deposit up front or they can sign up for auto-pay, which will waive them from the deposit."
The deposit will be one and a half times your annual estimated monthly bill and will only affect new customers.
So Cathy Stark, with the utility department, says existing customers shouldn't be worried about the ordinance affecting them so long as their bill is paid on time.
"As long as the customers continue to maintain that good pay record then they will not see an increase in the deposit amount. "
The ordinance, which passed unanimously, is a way for the utility company to offset unpaid bills.
Stark says it's a necessary move because that number is expected to surpass $800,000 by the end of this year.
"The longer we wait the longer it's going to impact our write-offs."
The ordinance goes into effect June 4th.