Wednesday, January 18, 2011
A water meter mishap is forcing Haysville residents to fork over extra cash to the city.
The city says it is because of mis-read meters during two months last Fall. Residents say it is actually because their meters were not even touched.
Toward the end of December, nearly half of Haysville's 3,700 water customers received a letter saying, "...there were possible errors made when the water meters in the area were read..."
Kelly Kennedy's water bill averages between $50 and $60 a month. Then, he got his December bill in the mail.
"Last month, we paid $53.41. This one has us owing $154.66," said Kennedy.
Just down the street, Jim Burkett had the same thing happen to his family.
His bill was $310.33.
"There's no way my water bill should ever be that much," said Burkett.
Even in the Summer, both say the highest increase they have seen is $30 to $50.
"I have a hard time believing we used that much extra water," said Kennedy.
According to the city, residents did use that much water, but actually used it in September and October.
"We had an employee that mis-read some meters during that time, which caused some low water bills, and some high water bills," said Randy Dorner, Public Works Director, City of Haysville.
Kennedy and Burkett say they were told a different story.
"The person that was in charge of doing our area, decided not to do it. He just turned in some numbers," said Kennedy.
"The city has done everything we can do in our power to help this situation," said Dorner.
Now, residents like Kennedy and Burkett are paying for the errors.
"All of a sudden, they mess up, and I'm paying for it," said Kennedy.
"They're the ones that should be responsible for it," said Burkett.
The city says the employee was contracted through a temp service, and has since been fired.
Not everyone received a higher bill. Many received bills with credits, showing they had been charged too much during September and October.
Concerned residents are encouraged to visit city hall or Monday's council meeting.