Since the city of Lodi changed the due dates for utility bills three months ago, residents have contacted city staff more than 1,000 times.
The Lodi City Council will discuss whether to keep the change at their shirtsleeve meeting at 7 a.m. today.
In September, the city changed its bills from a specific due date to "due upon receipt," which prompted residents to complain to city staff and write letters to the editor to the News-Sentinel.
The city made the change when Deputy City Manager Jordan Ayers realized that Lodi was not in compliance with a 1991 ordinance on when bills were due. He was reviewing city code for another issue, he said
Bills are "due and payable upon receipt thereof, at the finance department, City Hall, Lodi, California," the 1991 ordinance reads.
Under the new "due upon receipt" bills, the ordinance says they become delinquent 20 days after the post-mark.
Before bills were due 21 days after the billing date, so the time frame has not significantly changed, Ayers said.
One of the goals is for the city to save money on delinquent bills, he said. The city loses about $500,000 a year from people not paying their utility bills.
By telling residents that they have to pay as soon as they get the bill, the hope is that people will pay it right away rather than waiting for a later date, Ayers said.
The council will discuss potential changes to the ordinance as well as billing processes.
One of the suggestions is to reduce the timeline from the initial billing to when the city terminates the services as a way to reduce the volume of bad debt accounts sent to collectors.
The meeting will be at 7 a.m. today in Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St., Lodi.