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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Utility in hot water over bills

Monday, July 7, 2003

Many Brazil Water customers are boiling over the bills they just received in the mail last week.

Robin Roechlein, Supervisor, said the mix-up is all over a misprint on every bill stating, "Service will be discontinued if not paid by due date. Final Notice!"

The calls and complaints continued to flood the utility company at City Hall until the office closed at 4 p.m. Wednesday as workers tried to straighten out the error.

"Nobody's happy," she said shrugging her shoulders. She explained that they recently implemented new software equipment. "It's a glitch and I'm sorry."

The problems didn't stop with the software. Roechlein indicated the meters had to be reread manually and when they went to print the bills, they had printing problems.

Customer Walt Moore pointed out the billing error could cause a lot of anger with city residents.

"The water bills are actully for a six- week period of time, therefore the bill is about 50 percent higher than most people are used to," Moore said. "But on the bill it says it's for 30 days. You would have thought someone would have told the citizens this."

Roechlein agrees the bills are for a longer period than usual, but it was necessary to bring the read date current. She stressed that customers are only being charged for the water they've used and the disconnect notices only apply to those with outstanding balances. This month was for a 6-week period, but things should be back to the normal 4-week period by the time bills are sent out next month.

"The next bill will definitely be straightened out," she said.

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