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Late Utility Bill? Mayor's Aide Doesn't "Have a Clue"

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Though they've agreed to a more vigorous audit, school officials say Mayor Doug Wilder still won't give them their money.

In mid-March, Wilder began issuing funds to schools in installments, prompting school officials to express concerns about paying the bills.

Days later, the school system failed to pay its $20,434.54 utility bill from the city. The city's second billing notice, sent April 12, assesses a late fee of $5,235.55 for the missed payment. (It was unclear at press time whether the bill had been paid.)

City spokesman Linwood Norman says payments for bills are being made as they are brought to the city's attention, dismissing the mayor's funding policies as cause for the district's failure to pay the utility bill.

"We don't have a clue why those utilities payments aren't being made on time," Norman says. "That's where the audit will be very beneficial in terms of enlightening everyone on how the situation got where it is."

School Board Vice Chairman Lisa Dawson still doesn't understand why the schools are being shorted. "We have not been given another reason to explain why this continues," she says. S

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