Marysville administrators intend to sit down with local landlords to talk about how the city handles its utility billing.

Marysville administrators intend to sit down with local landlords to talk about how the city handles its utility billing.

City administrator Jillian Froment said a public meeting is scheduled for January. The discussion will focus on how those bills are collected, not on Marysville's utility rates, Froment said.

"This isn't a simple issue, once you start weighing all the different points of view, including the tenants, the landlords, the city," Froment said. "We want to talk about balancing the issues, to discuss the pros and cons."

Froment said Marysville analyzed how other communities in central Ohio go about collecting utility payments and came up with a check list of options that could be incorporated. Froment said Marysville doesn't necessarily plan on instituting the ideas; administrators just want to open a discussion to get the community's input.

Some ideas from other communities include having a written utility application process, rather than allowing applications over the phone; whether or not landlords should approve tenants; how to ensure that individuals are not simply changing addresses to avoid past-due bills; the topic of electronic billing and suppressing credit statements; whether or not to move a bill's due date to the fifth of the following month; whether or not minimum utility amounts are too high for vacant houses; whether or not the city should be responsible for the collection of overdue bill payments; how to handle requests that the city use collection services to collect skipped payments; whether or not the city should turn off a house's water at the landlord's request; reconnection fees; whether or not Marysville should use a certification process; and other issues related to utility billing structure in Marysville.

Marysville currently offers an online utility paying tool, which can be reached on the city's website, www.marysvilleohio.org.

Froment said the public meeting for Marysville landlords is set from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. January 12, at city hall, 221 S. Plum St. The public is invited, she said.