Many view, few pay after Anchorage posts deadbeat list

Posted: Thursday, September 04, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) More than 37,000 hits were logged over the holiday weekend on the city's delinquent debt Web site after its launch was announced Friday, the mayor's office said.

The Web site lists the names of 21,000 people who owe the city more than $17 million in old fines and fees.

By midnight Monday, the city received $2,600 from 15 payments on the Internet, the mayor's office said Tuesday.

And on Tuesday, six people walked into the city clerk's office and paid about $1,500, said Julie Hasquet, director of communications for Mayor Mark Begich.

Debts owed to the city have piled up over the past 20 years. After an internal audit showed the city was owed around $21 million, the city created the Web site to collect some of the money. The site allows people to pay online with a credit card.

Anchorage faces a projected budget gap for 2004 of $31 million.

Debtors have until Oct. 31 to pay the city without additional penalties. After that, the city may turn to outside collection agencies.

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