By Associated Press - Thursday, November 13, 2014

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - City of Jackson public works officials believe are blaming some exorbitant water bills on the installation of new meters and that some people haven’t had meters read in a long time and water usage has been based upon estimates instead actual use.

Public Works Director Keisha Powell said she reviewed a bill where $6,000 is owed. She said the customer was allowed to keep water on while paying less than the amount owed and the balance continued to rollover.

Powell said they are working on a case-by-case basis to see if adjustments need to be made to certain water bills.

It looks like some people’s meter hadn’t been read in sometime when new meters are installed,” Powell told The Clarion-Ledger ( ).

City Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon said there has been a myriad of complaints recently about water billings, including residents receiving high bills and some having water turned off immediately after receiving bills.

Powell said there are some water bill inaccuracies, but she said there are some outstanding, exorbitant water bills that are accurate.

“Once new meters are installed, we are going back to see if adjustments need to be made,” she said.

Powell said the city is trying to clean up billing problems before going to a new, consumer-friendly water bill system. She said there is a tremendous data clean up that is needed.

The new billing system was originally scheduled to begin Jan. 1, but will be pushed back, Powell said.

The city is currently in the process of installing approximately 65,000 new water meters. The meters will provide a more accurate tracking of water usage and that could mean higher water bills. Officials expect all of the meters to be installed by the end of this year.


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger,

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