Residents in Mount Vernon report 300% water bill increase


MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (WEHT) — After one resident posted an irregularity with her water bill to Facebook, it became clear she wasn’t the only one who was noticing changes. Now, many residents in Mount Vernon claim their water bills are going up, some by several hundred dollars.

Samantha Day has lived in Mount Vernon for 9 years. After her water bill for November went from $154 to over $400 in December, she posted to Facebook to see if she was the only one who thought something was wrong, and she wasn’t.

“There’s a lot of people that want to speak. All day today I’ve had message after message after message. I’ve got 15 notifications I haven’t even checked right now and I know they’re all to do with this,” said Day.

Day decided she wasn’t going to pay and she contacted the city and officially had it adjusted; but not before she was told it was her fault.

“They were like oh you have a leak,” said Day.

Day wasn’t the only one who has been given that response.

“Oh you must have a leak,” said Timothy Dunson.
“Oh it was probably a leaky toilet,” said Ricky Bradley.
“I sent somebody out a couple of weeks ago and they said we have no leaks,” said Brett Leclere.

Dunson is a pastor at Mount Calvary Church and had the church checked for leaks and replaced all toilets and faucets. He said no leaks were found.

“We’re here on Sunday mornings from 10:30 until about 2 and then we come in on Tuesday evenings. It’s the only time we’re here. We got a bill for $3500,” said Dunson.

The chuch was only given a $500 refund for that bill and Dunson said they were only able to pay it off recently.

Leclere lives across town and reports his water usage is normally around 37-hundred gallons a month. In November, he was charged for over 14-thousand gallons.

“There’s obviously something wrong, something’s going on but she acts like it’s on my end. I ask her can these meters fail can they give false reads? She tells me only in the other direction,” Leclere said.

Although Day had her bill adjusted, she says she’s not going to stop fighting to help others in the community that haven’t been as fortunate.

“I had one guy tell me he had to spend his entire Christmas bonus on his water bill and could not provide Christmas to his children,” said Day.

I reached out to the Mayor of Mount Vernon, Bill Curtis, who told me the issue is being looked into. Curtis also said it is customary for the water department to check for leaks when a resident reports an unexpected increase with their bill.

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(This story was originally published on January 7, 2020)

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