Salina's city officials are getting tougher on people with delinquent water accounts, and some residents may be facing water service cutoffs.

The City Council concludes it has been "very considerate in not authorizing disconnections" but that "it may be necessary to take a more firm stand on delinquent payments." Council members believe many of the delinquent residents fail to realize how much they owe in interest payments.Records show that nearly $10,000 was recently owed on 86 delinquent accounts. Many of the residents who fail to pay their water bills on time have fallen into a rut of being delinquent month after month, a spokesman said.

It was noted that 45 of the delinquent users had not paid anything on their accounts for three months and 17 accounts had not been fully paid for as far back as October. Delinquency notices are mailed when accounts haven't been paid for two months, with a shut-off date listed and a warning that service will be discontinued.

The city's policy states that accounts are due on the first day of each month and are past due on the 15th of the month. When payments are not made by the 15th, a 5 percent penalty is tacked on to the water bill. Terminated accounts carry an interest rate of 1.5 percent per month. The policy statement concludes with, "Service shall not be restored until all charges are paid, including a reconnect fee of $25."