Just a comment about some of the things discussed between Roch Smith and Sandy Carmany and others on Hoggsblog about the change from quarterly water bills to monthly bills.
I have heard the city council discuss this topic on several occasions. It is my understanding that one of the main reasons for the monthly billing is to benefit landlords who get stuck with unpaid water bills when tenants vacate both commercial and residential rental units.
If the bill is unpaid for a certain length of time, the city cuts off water to the property. If there is no water, a condemned sign is posted on the building.
The building cannot be leased as long as it is condemned. This leaves the property owner (landlord) to pay the overdue water bill in order to re-rent the property.
I also heard something about not being able to sell the property until outstanding water bills and taxes are paid; because apparently, the city puts a lien on property with over-due bills. I am not clear about just how that works. I just remember some talk about it by the City Council and City Staff.
There was also talk of not allowing a person to get water in another house until the old bill was taken care of by the person who moved while owing it. This could be a nightmare for the city because many people get water service in another person's name to avoid paying old bills at another address.
Monthly billing allows the city to know when a bill is overdue before it becomes a bill for 4 months or more of service. I don't know how much money the city loses on uncollected bills. I suspect it is not much, because property owners must pay up for irresponsible tenants before property can be re-rented.
I would think that a security deposit by tenants in addition to a deposit at the water department could cover the loss to landlords and the city, thus eliminating one of the reasons for monthly water bills. This could be an expensive proposition for renters who make up almost 40 percent of Greensboro residents.