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Magnolia residents have been duly warned.

If you don’t pay your water and wastewater bill on time, your water will be shut off and it will cost an extra $40 to have service restored plus a half-day off work because an adult will be required to be home between 8 a.m. and noon when it is reconnected.

Cutting off water service for non-payers is not new. It’s an established and necessary practice to ensure that the Magnolia Utilities is compensated for the services it provides customers.

A couple aspects of the shutoff policy are new and will go into effect on Nov 1. The most noticeable change is probably that residents who do not pay the water utilities bill by the due date will not receive a past due notice or courtesy call. Also new is the requirement that someone 18-years-old or older be in the home when the water service is reconnected.

The decision to end the practice of courtesy calls to residents who have not paid their water bills is understandable. We suspect many late-payers have used the calls as sort of a crutch to lean to lean on as a reminder to pay the monthly bills. It is not Magnolia Utilities’ responsibility to rescue customers who are not responsible bill-payers. Such courtesy calls are labor-intensive and sidetrack employees from their regular duties in order to remind people to pay their bills.

But we do wonder if mailed shutoff notices in the form of preprinted postcards would not be so burdensome and save residents and staff the inconvenience of shutting off and restoring service.

Regardless, it is the responsibility of water customers to pay their bills on time. Magnolia Utilities has issued fair warning of the policy changes in blue cards sent to all residences.

So, pardon the pun we just couldn’t resist, the excuse of saying you didn’t know about the new shutoff policy just won’t hold water.

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