SANDWICH – Sandwich residents may be getting their water and sewer bills a lot later than usual because of a mailing issue.
Sandwich City Clerk Denise Ii said during the City Council meeting Monday, July 22, that, out of about 860 invoices that were sent July 1, about 440 were lost in the mail.
“And as of today, the post office still cannot locate them,” Ii said.
Ii said this is not the first time something like this has happened with the city, although it is the first time this has happened in 2019.
“We have never had this large of a number of invoices that [were lost],” Ii said.
Ward 1 Alderman Les Redden said during the meeting that late fees will have to be waived for residents with these lost bills, with Ii agreeing with him.
“There’s no doubt about that,” Redden said.
Ii said the bills are due July 31 and the city still hasn’t gotten the lost bills. She said Monday that, last she heard, one tray out of two and a half trays of bills that were sent out were misplaced.
“They [the post office] think that it might be in Carol Stream, but they don’t know,” Ii said.
Ii said the city has gotten a lot of calls about the issue so far. She said her office started to see a pattern by Thursday, July 18, with the addresses of residents who were calling about their water and sewer bills
“That told me we had a problem,” Ii said.
Ii said that residents in Ward 2 are the most affected by the situation, since that’s the ward that is primarily attached to this current billing cycle. However, she said, there’s no way to pinpoint the misplaced bills to certain neighborhoods, since the area covered by the lost bills is more widespread than that.
Ward 3 Alderman Pete Dell said it looks like the city will need to resend the bills, despite where the situation stands at this point.
“Regardless of the day, we need to get them the bill,” Dell said.
Ward 3 Alderman Shane Surratt added that, if the post office does find the lost bills and the bills eventually make their way to residents, people could be told to disregard those if they already received their July bill.
Ii said on Tuesday, July 23, that her office will figure it out regardless and work through the issue, but these are uncharted waters for the city. She said resending the bills would be a large undertaking for the office because that would mean all 866 bills with the last billing cycle would have to be sent again, as opposed to only the ones that were lost – and that would take one or two days to do.
Ii said she is hoping to hear from the post office to see if the missing tray can indeed be located in Carol Stream.
“We’re hoping to get response back today [Tuesday, July 23] that it’s located and those bills will be sent out immediately,” Ii said.
Overall, Ii said, an official game plan will be worked out in the next couple of days.
“The clock is ticking,” Ii said.