West Palm Beach considers liens, foreclosure on properties with unpaid water bills

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The city of West Palm Beach plans to aggressively pursue the collection of more than $45,000 in unpaid water bills and is prepared to foreclose on property owners if the bills remain unpaid.

More than 150 properties accounted for the unpaid bills, according to city records.

"That's happening all over," said Herbert Lee Dingle, a West Palm Beach resident. "They get a notice and ignore it. The bill comes to the tenant. The tenant [is] responsible for paying the water bill."

On Monday, city commissioners authorized the city to impose liens on properties delinquent on their utility bills.

"These are people that take services from the city and they simply don't pay for it. We don't tolerate it," said Elliot Cohen, a spokesperson for the city of West Palm Beach. "If they don't pay the bills, and they try to sell their property, we're there to collect. Every penny matters. Every penny counts."

Cohen said that, some months, the unpaid bills total $70,000.

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