Petersburg residents nervous to receive first water bill in months

Posted at 7:32 PM, Feb 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 03:41:58-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- It's been months, going back to the fall of 2015, since some Petersburg homeowners have gotten a water bill.

Many reached out to CBS 6 in November about the frustration. Though the city manager said bills are on their way, now residents fear they won't be able to pay the bill when it does arrive in their mailbox.

"We don't want to go on a payment plan," said Beverly Nevetral, who last got a water bill seven months ago.

Bills were supposed to go out mid-January but issues prevented that from happening.

"By tomorrow, bills should begin to be received by citizens," said Petersburg City Manager William Johnson, from his City Hall office.

Johnson admitted the last six months have been tough.

"It is a process that quite frankly, should not have taken this long," he said.

The next two bills, for February and March, will be estimated bills.

"The billing period for a majority of our residents will cover October through December, and for a small amount of our citizens, it will be from September through December," Johnson explained.

The April bill will be for March water usage and will also show the amount of water used.

"The bills should be accurate and should not be anywhere close to what it was last year," Johnson said.

But Nevetral is quick to point out water bills also have other fees attached to them.

"The garbage pickup and sewer tax, which is standard every month on that bill, are not being paid," he said.

"If people aren't paying their bills, how are they paying the employees?" asked Lester Wetsch.

Johnson said not having the added fees paid has been "very painful, very painful" on the city.