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From 36 to 92 days in a month

POSTED September 21, 2012 11:32 p.m.

Yes, it’s me again. I hope you are all paying attention to your water bills before you pay them.

Last year I wrote a letter to the editor complaining about some 36 day billing periods that cost us extra those months because we went over our monthly gallon allotment.

I heard about the reason the city used to explain away the problem last year, and I read the recent article in the paper about the city now having to replace all the meters in town because the meters they installed don’t work for very long. If I remember correctly, the article said something about the new meters that they are going to install is proven technology. Why they didn’t install proven technology originally  we will never know.

Now, I’m not into the use of computers, and the interweb, and all of the social yak-yak, or networking or what have you; but, while I was trying to compose the above paragraph, I asked my wife, who is getting to know how to navigate the electronic Ethernet, to see if she could find the above mentioned article. She didn’t find it, but did find a lot of other information and comments about our city’s water revenues not being as much as was expected since starting to use the water meters, causing a 1.2 million dollar deficit; but still having a 28 million dollar reserve in the water enterprise funds. The long and short of it is, get ready for water rate increases.

But I digress, I also reiterate, please pay attention to your water bills before you pay them.

I, just a couple of days ago, received our city utilities bill. I have to admit I have been waiting anxiously to see how the city was going to bill us for water when they hadn’t read our meter since May 31st. We have paid our water bill at the base rate of $22.05 the last two months. This month’s bill starts with the meter reading from May 31st and ends with the meter finally being read on August 31st. A total of 92 days of water usage being charged during a 31 day period, resulting in a $25.47 penalty for being over our 21,600 gallon monthly allotment. In reality, we used on average 14,805 gallons per month the last 3 months. Yes, I know our lawn has a few brown spots, but we are conserving water. Now, I’m sure this is just a clerical oversight, not a new way to make up the 1.2 million dollar deficit.

After going in personally to pay the bill, I was told it was a clerical oversight and the city did correct the billed amount, but if probably would not have been corrected if I didn’t catch it.

— Jeff Faria

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