Anaheim : More Than $800,000 in Old Bills Written Off

Ever get stuck with an $803,291.49 bill?

The city of Anaheim did. After collection efforts failed, City Council members Tuesday wrote off as uncollectible unpaid bills for the Utilities Department, the Convention Center, Anaheim Stadium and other accounts.

The largest write-off consisted of unpaid utility bills totaling $645,345 for the 1984-85 fiscal year.

The tab for unpaid electricity, water and sanitation bills "sounds like a lot of money, but it's not in relation to our sales," customer service manager Don Metzger said Wednesday.

Metzger said the city's 105,000 utility customers paid $182.8 million in fiscal 1984-85. The 5,604 residents and 682 businesses who stuck the city with their bills represented 0.353% of sales, he said.

"Our goal is to stay below 0.4%, and we're usually successful in that," Metzger said. "Our write-off has shown slight but steady improvements in the past five years."

Through a collection agency, the city recovers about 9% to 10% of unpaid utility bills, Metzger said.

Other accounts that council members wrote off Tuesday included $43,240 in uncollectable tenant bills for the stadium and Convention Center and $114,705 in miscellaneous bills, such as for damaged property.

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