Mayor apologizes for sky high water bills after CBS 6 Problem Solvers story

Posted at 7:06 PM, Nov 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-21 11:54:12-05

PETERSBURG, Va. – Reports of mismanagement within the utilities department in Petersburg continue to accumulate.

Earlier in this week residents said they have battled higher than usual water bills, irregular delivery of bills, and that the city won't cooperate with concerns.

Now at least one person has had their water shut off and said it is directly connected to the issue.

“We went out to take the kids to school and runs some errands,came back and had no water,” Dave Cook said. “The last bill we received was in May.”

“The water bills are supposed to come every month, but right now we don’t know when they are going to come, we get them when we get them,” said Ricky Flowers.

One resident said when she did get through to someone, they bickered back and forth.

 “The last bill we received was in May," Dave Cook said.

“The last bill we received was in May," Dave Cook said.

“Prove to us you didn’t get a bill,” is what Beverly Nevetral said she was told. To which she responded ”prove to us you mailed one.”

Those who have received bills said the total reflects far more water than they could ever use in a month.

Lester Wetsch, with a recent bill for $5,137.95, has the distinction of the highest water bill on Mount Vernon Street, but he was not alone with an outrageous bill.

"To round it off, $2,200," neighbor Cliff Nevetral said.

A few doors down, Sharon Sculthorpe was billed $3,871.52, for one month.

Water bill

"And I was gone for one week on vacation," she said.

"I think it's total incompetence," neighbor Kay Beale said. "We call and nobody will return calls; when they get flooded with a lot of problems like this, they will lock the doors."

Neighbors said it was obvious no one has used thousands of dollars in water.

"If we left it running all day we couldn't use that much water," neighbor Beverly Nevetral said.

Petersburg Mayor W. Howard Myers said he has heard about the situation.

"I have to say, I'm very saddened these situations are going on at this particular time," he said from outside City Hall. "I don't want to always blame the meter, but maybe at this particular point, the administration has dropped the ball to some degree. Administratively we have made some changes."

The mayor asked citizens to be patient and said he hoped in the next 30 days the water bills will be on track.


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