DOUBLE SPRINGS - A letter presented by an Arley resident, fearing it was a scam, stirred up quite a stink at a recent Winston County Commission meeting.
The letter, which has been considered by some residents as threatening, was actually confirmed to have been sent out by the Winston County Commission in an effort to get people to pay past due garbage bills.
Kristen Blaylock, of Arley, who attended the meeting asked about the letter residents were terming as suspicious.
The letter, which had been posted on social media, was read by Blaylock to Commission Chairman Roger Hayes and Commissioners Bobby Everett and David Cummings from her cell phone.
The letter read,
“The Winston County Commission is requiring that arrest warrant be issued for delinquent accounts.”
The letter then listed a sanitation customer’s individual account number and the balance owed on that account, followed by, “You have 10 days from date of this notice to contact us with a payment.”
The letter continued that the Winston County Sanitation Department offers many ways for delinquent customers to make payments or to contact the sanitation officer at (205) 489-5296 for assistance or to have arrangements made.
“I look forward to hearing from you,” concluded the letter which was signed by Collections Agent Misty Collins.
“I wanted to talk to you guys about a letter going around our town,” Blaylock began. “I have a friend who is a police officer. He told me it was a scam, but I need to know for sure.”
After reading the letter to the commissioners, Blaylock noted, “Several people in my town have received this letter and are concerned that if somebody is not capable of paying this debt, they will be arrested or if it is not you (sending this letter), then their identity can be stolen.”
“This is us, ma’am,” Hayes responded. “Some people have not paid their garbage bill.
“I think if you will check on a lot of those, Cullman (Electric) Co-op has been addressing this for about four years,” Hayes pointed out.
Hayes explained that customers who pay bills to Cullman Electric Co-op have a $44.25 charge per quarter added to their bills as garbage collection fees.
“These are old bills they owed before Cullman Co-op started doing this,” Hayes explained.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.