People take water bill worries to city leaders in Mount Vernon

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MOUNT VERNON, In. (WEHT) — A city council meeting in Mount Vernon became heated at times on Thursday night, as people spoke to community leaders about what they say is a dramatic spike in their water bills.

It was a packed house as people waited their turn to take to the microphone for public comment.

“I would encourage people in the community, if you have an issue with your water bill, reach out to them. They will handle it. They’re not monsters.” 

Tensions ran high regarding people’s claims that their water bills have increased, and community members called on city leaders for help.

 “If people’s meters are wrong or the bill is up too high then water works needs to make it good.” 

This is just the latest chapter in the battle of the bills, after residents say the city’s claims that leaks could cause those price hikes is inaccurate.

Both the Utility Department Superintendent Chuck Gray and Mayor Bill Curtis fielded questions and frustrations.

“When they’re being told there is a leak is anyone checking the meter itself to see if it is leaking?” 

There were also questions relating to new water meters installed by the city. The meters have a 0.03% failure rate according to the manufacturer.

“Everybody should see a six to seven percent increase in their usage, because these meters are accurate down to a 16th of a gallon,” Gray explained.

At the end, it was suggested that the city provide an easy-access space online, instructing people how to report water bills they believe might be incorrect. But as of now, a resolution isn’t quite clear.

“I’m just trying to make a statement here if it comes to further notice or continues, we’re going to have to take the next step. That’s it.”

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(This story was originally published on January 16, 2020)


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