NORWICH – The amount of uncollected debt owed to the Chenango County Department of Social Services has increased from $400,000 back in October to $1 million today, and the county is still in the process of hiring a collections agency to make recoveries on its behalf.
Back in October, DSS Commissioner Bette Osborne got the go-ahead from the Health and Human Services Committee to hire a Liverpool-based collections agency. However, the process was stalled by members of the Finance Committee and end-of-the-year budgeting.
Lawmakers wanted assurances that the 28 to 40 percent commissions charged by the agency were recoverable through the state. In addition, two Democrat supervisors, James J. McNeil, City Wards 1,2,3 and James Bays of Smyrna, wanted assurances that the elderly would be treated with respect.
“I’m more worried about the people who legitimately can’t pay, not the county,” said McNeil yesterday.