City reaches agreement with Countryside Property Management on late water bill

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

The latest on Countryside Property Management Inc.'s delinquent water bill and its affect on Rapid City residents.


Dec. 8

Countryside Property Management Inc. has reached an agreement with city officials on a plan to pay its remaining balance on delinquent water bills.

City Communications Coordinator Darrell Shoemaker said that water service was scheduled to be turned back on Friday afternoon for the property management office located in Star Village.

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Dec. 7, 4:30 p.m.

City officials say Countryside Property Management Inc. paid around $50,000 toward the overdue balance. The number of delinquent payments vary by property, but the largest overdue payment spans three to four months.

NewsCenter1 reached out to Countryside Property Management Inc. Thursday afternoon, but the company did not respond.

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12:24 p.m.

A delinquent utility bill could leave scores of Rapid City residents without water service.

In a letter to the city council on Thursday, Mayor Steve Allender explained that Countryside Property Management Inc. has a combined delinquent water bill of $97,679. The bill is an accumulation of 98 properties at locations including Star Village, Countryside Mobile Home Park, and the Marquette Mobile Home Park.

The mayor explained that residents are not at fault, but their service may be shut off if Countryside Property Management fails to comply on the bill.

"Someone will potentially be the Grinch if this doesn't get worked out," Allender said. "And as you may imagine, 98 households going without water to wash, cook, bathe, flush will create a health hazard very shortly, very shortly after it's shut off. And we don't want that. There's little kids in some of those homes. You know, it's just very unfortunate that it's come to this point."

The full letter is below.

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Dear Council Member:

I am writing to bring you up to speed on a situation that affects a number of your constituents who may eventually come to you for help.

Countryside Property Management Inc. shown as a dissolved South Dakota corporation on the Secretary of State website, has a combined delinquent water bill of $97,679. The water bill is an accumulation of 98 of their properties for which they assume responsibility for paying the water utility fees. This includes properties in Star Village, Countryside Mobile Home Park on E. Saint Patrick St. and the Marquette Mobile Home Park at Star Village as well as a few other miscellaneous properties. In addition to this, Countryside Property Management is also owner of the former Boston's restaurant which recently closed for the second time leaving a delinquent water bill of $5,000.

On the advice of Public Works Director Dale Tech, I've decided we should not turn off water for the 98 users at this point. We have discontinued water service at the property management office located in Star Village in an attempt to get their attention. Today, Water Division staff has been in contact with staff of Countryside Property Management. The listed director and incorporator of Countryside Property Management is Cynthia Akers.

On the surface, this appears to be a failing property management company which has likely collected rent to include water usage from 98 rental customers, then failed to pay the City for this service. The 98 renters are not to blame in this instance, but if we cannot get compliance on this delinquent water bill, it may result in shutting off service to all of the properties.

I will initiate formal communication with Countryside Property management to put them on notice of our intent to collect this bill.

If you have questions, or would like additional information, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Steve Allender, Mayor
Rapid City, South Dakota

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