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Residents bring disputes over high water bills to city council

Posted: 10:09 PM, Sep 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-19 10:35:05-04

Dave Resendez couldn’t believe his eyes when he got his current water bill from the city. The total charges amounted to more than $1,500. That’s more than double what he paid just a month ago.

The drastic increase was enough to bring him to today’s city council meeting to demand action on this issue.

“I want the city manager over utility department to show up and address the problem and quit taking advantage of the citizens because it’s gotten ridiculous,” Resendez told KRIS 6 News.

He wasn’t the only one asking for help. Mike Staff also addressed council members, explaining that his monthly water bills went from averaging around $80 to more than $260.

“I had my home inspected. I had a hydrostat test done. And I had the city come out at my expense at $60 to tell me there’s nothing wrong. Something’s wrong,” Staff said.

Resendez believes that the response from the water department to these complaints is making a bad situation worse.

“The problem is is that management is not showing up. they’re working behind closed doors. They’re allowing these call centers to take all of these calls,” Resendez said.

Mayor Joe McComb agrees with him, saying this leads to long wait times and subpar customer service.

“Now if you think I get upset in about 30 minutes, what do you think somebody out there does after an hour or two hours or 10 days? They are livid,” McComb said during the council meeting.

He and other council members say those communication issues need to be immediately addressed while the city continues to try to track down exactly on what’s causing water bills to skyrocket for some customers.

Interim city manager Keith Selman says representatives from Infor, the company that runs the software for utility billing, will be in town in a couple of weeks to try and fix the problem.