Get Gephardt: Layton residents should check water bills for overcharges
LAYTON, Utah — Several residents in Layton have contacted Get Gephardt, saying their water bill is extremely high. What we know is this was not a situation of people using too much water – it was a billing issue.
Geno Malone said he has been conserving water, even going so far as to install low flow sprinklers in his yard. According to his latest water bill, you would think he had been using a ton more water.
“Two hundred sixty-four dollars and 63 cents for my culinary water,” Malone said. “That’s way more than I usually pay.”
Malone’s bill shows he was undercharged in August – not paying for water he used. The city is making up the difference by charging him for August and September all at once. That created a new problem.
“They’re adding those two months up which then puts you into a different tier for their price,” said Malone.
Layton City uses what is called a “Tiered Water Rate Structure.” The more water a resident uses per month, the higher the unit price for that water. Malone is being charged as though he were using two months’ worth of water in one month, so the water rate is more expensive than it should be.
“It’s not fair!” he exclaimed.
Malone is not alone. Get Gephardt heard from other residents in the same boat. Layton City has heard from them too.
“There were some errors,” Tracy Probert, the city’s finance director, said.
He explained these billing issues stem from some bad meter reading – an employee entered data wrong.
How many people got overcharged? The city does not know, but it could be in the hundreds – all homes along that meter reader’s route.
“What we’re trying to do is narrow down which accounts were affected by reviewing all of our accounts if we have to, but we definitely know which routes were affected,” Probert said. “And so, we’re starting there and reviewing all those so that we can apply a credit to the accounts.”
“I freaked out a little bit,” Geno Malone said after he received an extraordinarily high water bill.
He called the city which is straightening out his bill so he only has to pay for the base tier water he used.
He worries about his neighbors who maybe do not pay as much attention to their monthly water invoice.
“I would definitely look at your bill.”
If you are concerned that your bill is abnormally high, call the city. Even if you don’t call, the city is confident that when the audit is completed that everyone who overpaid will get the proper credits.
Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at firstname.lastname@example.org or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.
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