City Council to grant one time forgiveness for used but unbilled water

When the City Council discussed replacing all of the water meters throughout the City, the Council understood this replacement plan would result in some of the Cityâ??s utility customers receiving an adjusted bill to make up for unbilled water.

Based on experience, it was expected about 2% of the estimated 7,000 customers would receive a â??catch-up billâ?? which would represent a charge for that water which ran through the meter but was not recorded by the remote reader on the outside of the house or building, and therefore never billed to the customer.

After replacement of 25% of the meters through the Schneider Performance Contract, the number of catch-up bills is closer to 6% with many of those customers receiving increases of $20 or less and a smaller number receiving a catch-up bill for a more substantial amount.

â??I knew there were going to be some discrepancies and that it would affect a small number of residents.â?? stated Mayor Richard Detweiler. Mayor Detweiler and Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Mills were asked to meet with City Manager Mari Macomber and Finance Director Katie Myers on Monday afternoon to discuss how the project was working and more so how it was affecting the customers of the system.

The discussion focused on whether or not the existing ordinances that were established by the Council were what the two council members thought was the intention of the City Council.

Mayor Pro Tem Mills explained, â??This was something the Council did discuss using estimated information and though I understood that the water was used and there was a cost to making it, sometimes you have to take a step back and reevaluate the process.â??

This re-evaluation will include staff asking the Council to reconsider by passing a one-time measure that would give City staff the ability to use the remote meter readings instead of the actual meter readings to avoid the generation of a catch-up bill for the remaining customers who have not had their meter replaced yet. If approved, it would also allow Finance Director Myers to make a one-time adjustment to those accounts who had already received a catch-up bill on the billing dated 5/31/13 due to the Schneider Electric change out.

Since the measure requires City Council approval, the City asks those customers who had received a catch-up bill to be patient allowing the City the time necessary to calculate a new bill and credit the accounts of those individuals who have already paid some, or the entire catch-up bill.