Utility bill troubles have city of Newkirk considering alternatives to conventional mail

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Trouble with the mailing of city utility bills in Newkirk, Okla. has the city considering a plan to avoid conventional mail altogether, according to a monthly report from the office of city manager Ryan Smykil.

The city mailed out monthly bills on May 29 and estimates 70 percent of citizens had not received them as of June 10, which is when payment is due. A complaint has been filed with the U.S. Postal Service and Office of the Inspector General.

Newkirk city officials have been told that sorting at the local post office is not possible. Thus bills had been transferred to Tulsa for that purpose.

With the Tulsa facility closing for retooling, the city said, Newkirk bills will now go to Oklahoma City. The city has also been informed of an impending rate increase.

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“Given these circumstances, we are looking into electronic delivery of utility bills and bypassing mailing altogether,” according to the city manager’s report. “If we choose this route, we are aware that there will be some growing pains. However, it is not a responsible use of the people’s money to continue to spend ever-increasing amounts to mail bills that aren’t delivered.”

No definitive plan is in place, so far. Newkirk city utility bills remain due on the 10th regardless of whether a bill is received by mail, according to the city manager’s report. 

If the 10th falls on a weekend, the bill is due the following Monday.

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