Bogalusa Mayor stops water payment plans
Published 8:42 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023
BOGALUSA — In a recent Facebook post, Mayor Tyring Truong informed residents that the city would no longer offer payment plans for overdue water bills. Expressing concern over the increasing number of water cutoffs, Truong cited advice from the Louisiana Legislative Auditors as the reason the city must adopt a stricter cutoff policy. According to Truong, this decision marks a departure from previous practices that allowed residents to enter into payment plans, as the auditors determined such arrangements violated state law. The mayor explained that pressure from earlier administrations and some current city council members had prompted this action.
When approached for a comment, Mayor Truong expressed regret over the situation, clarifying that the Louisiana Legislative Auditors had informed the city that its lenient payment plan practices were illegal without the city council’s approval of a written policy. As a result, Truong says the auditors instructed the city to disconnect all accounts that were at least two months over- due.
There is currently no law in the state constitution explicit- ly banning payment plans for utility bills. State Attorney General Opinion Number 11-0187 indicates that cities can allow their water customers to utilize payment plans, particularly for high waterbills. Acknowledging the
strain this has placed on some households, Truong disclosed plans to convene an emergency council meeting to establish an approved payment plan structure.
In the interim, affected residents are encouraged to contact Debra Young, Director for Family and Children Success at City Hall, (985) 732- 6200 Ext. 413.
The Legislative Auditors Office is working to confirm