What do I do if I sell my house or move out of a rented house?
Monthly utility bills are for service and usage for the previous month. When you move out of a house you need to have a final bill calculated. The utility billing staff needs some basic information including a final reading of your meter to compute the bill. You can call the department and request a service person be sent out to read the meter.
What happens if my tenant doesn't pay the utility bill?
The utility billing staff follows the same collection procedures for rental property as owner-occupied property. Landlords should check with the utility billing department prior to releasing the security deposit to determine if there is an outstanding utility bill.
What happens if my utility bill payment is overdue?
If your account becomes delinquent you will be sent a delinquent notice. If the delinquent notice is not taken care of water service may be discontinued. Your bill, including any fees, must be paid in full before water service will be re-established. In accordance with City Ordinance, any unpaid balance becomes a lien on the property and will be added to the next tax billing.
What happens when a due date falls on a weekend or holiday?
When a bill due date falls on a weekend or a holiday for which City Hall is closed, the due date is extended to the next day City Hall is open. Payments may be made in the drop box on a weekend or holiday.
Can you make payments when City Hall is closed?
Payments may be dropped in the payment drop box at any time. The drop box is a large silver mailbox type box located adjacent to the entrance of City Hall. Payment must be by check or money order. If you have the bill, attach it to the payment or place it in an envelope. If you don't have the bill, please note your account number on your check or money order. Payment may also be made online for a small convenience fee.
Click here to pay your bill online
Do you look at postmarks to determine if bills are paid on time?
Payments must be received in the Treasurer's office by the due date to be considered on time. The Treasurer's office does not look at postmarks to determine if mailed by the due date. The Post Office recommends allowing five days for postal delivery.
Can I have my water shutoff while working on a home improvement project?
Customers working on home improvement projects may request to have their water turned off and on at no additional cost while working on home improvement projects. You can contact the City during the hours of 7:00 am and 3:00 pm to take advantage of this feature.
Who pays utility bills and how are they calculated?
All users of the city’s water and sewer utility systems pay user fees and charges as adopted by City Commission. These fees and charges are designed to completely support the operations, maintenance, administration and capital outlay of the city’s utilities facilities and infrastructure. Current rates can be found here.
Where do I pay my utility bill and what payment options are available?
- At our office- Treasurer's Office at City Hall. City Hall is located at 226 North Michigan Avenue, Big Rapids, MI 49307. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Mail- Please include the utility bill stub and note the amount being paid on the stub if different from the amount due. DO NOT SEND CASH. Our mailing address is City of Big Rapids, 226 North Michigan Avenue, Big Rapids, MI 49307.
- Drop Box- There is a drop box conveniently located adjacent to the main entrance of City Hall. DO NOT PLACE CASH IN THE DROP BOX.
- Online- Utility Bills can be paid via credit/debit cards. Please be aware there is a convenience fee for using this service. Click the following link for more information regarding paying your bill online: Online Payments
What things can I check if I receive a high water bill?
- Do you have a dripping faucet?
- Is a toilet leaking or running for long periods of time?
- A toilet can leak without making a sound. To test for a silent leak, place several drops of food coloring in the tank and let it set undisturbed for 20 to 30 minutes. If it is leaking the colored water from the tank will appear in the bowl.
- Has a garden hose been left running?
- Have you checked the basement or crawl space for any leaks?
- Have you filled or added water to your swimming pool?
- Have you watered your lawn or garden?
- Is the hot water heater leaking?
- Is it near a floor drain so that the water drains away and does not leave a noticeable puddle?
- Do you have a humidifier on your furnace that needs adjusting?
- Have you checked the water softener? It could have a sticky valve that is allowing water to run continuously through it.
When investigating the reasons for an abnormally high water bill keep in mind the water charged for on your current bill was used about a month ago.
- Did you have houseguests or any extra water-consuming activities at that time?
- Is it summer time? Water consumption just seems to be higher during the summer months with more bathing, watering the garden and lawn, washing the car, etc.