EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Evansville residents could be seeing a water hike of more than 35 percent over the next few years. The Evansville Water and Sewer Utility Board held a public meeting on Tuesday, July 27 for the public to voice their opinions on the proposed bill, set to cover the cost of a new water treatment facility, replacing the current building in operation since the late 1800s.

However, those who attended Tuesday’s meeting had more to share.

Jamestine Cook, an Evansville nurse, told the EWSU board that she’s fed up with her recent water bills as well as the response she has gotten from the water department.

“Well, I got my water bill and it took me a few days to open it up, and when I opened up my water bill it said $899,” said Cook. “Here we go. The mandate. Current sewer – $392.52. Water $223.79… How is all that possible?

Ms. Cook has lived in her house for nearly 20 years and says that not once has her bill peaked $200. Now she’s looking at quadruple the price in the most recent months.

Cook is being told by the water department, her $900 bill is due to a running toilet, but several plumbers have ruled out any leaks or issues with the plumbing. She believes there is a malfunction with the water meter, causing such a large spike in her bill and asks the water department come to check it out. The water department assured her that they would do so.

“Any help in this matter would be appreciated. And I don’t think I’m asking that much,” Cook expressed at the public EWSU meeting.

Reverend William Payne was also in attendance, who shared his concern for Cook. “Here we have a situation where we have apartment complexes that owe thousands of dollars and this lady has a $900 water bill and they only thing we can tell her about that was that hey could help her make arrangements.”

On top of her enormous bill, rates in Evansville are expected to rise once again.

“Well you know they’re increasing our bills they say to pay for a new water facility, which they’ve known has been fractured and broken for the past ten years. And all of a sudden now it needs to be repaired. They said they had bonds and stuff that would pay for it but unfortunately we live in a place called ‘Pass the Bill Evansville’ where they are passing that bill and  that amount of money owed to the community who cannot afford to pay, said Payne.

If you have any concerns that you would like to share regarding this issue, the next public hearing has been moved to the University of Evansville on Thursday, August 12.