The Logan County Rural Water District No. 1 board meeting was jam-packed Thursday evening as several customers were heard regarding their outrageously priced water bills.
An estimated 50 citizens packed the board room and voiced their opinions and complaints in a 95 minute public forum session held at the water district’s building.
Residents have become upset over the district’s billing after water bills have increased anywhere from $100 to as high as $2,000 extra a month. Among the complaints include: water meters reading air, inconsistent billing and meter readers not keeping accurate logs of usage.
Prior to the summer months, the water district made its 2,500 customers, that cover a 50-square mile area, aware they could water their lawns but only twice a week (Monday and Wednesday). If customers were to exceed 15,999 gallons, the normal fee of $6 per 1,000 gallons would increase to $15.
The summer billing ends in September.
This was the first year the district added the increase fee after several complaints from a year ago. Customers then complained of not having any water, or had poor water pressure. In the process, the rural water district was able to add pumps and other improvements to the system.
Board members stressed water usage is intended for domestic use only and not for watering the lawns, and that water prices continue to increase to go along with the heat and drought.
Among several to speak was Chris Gray. He told board members he is willing to pay what he uses, but said he saw his bill go from two to 5,000 gallons of use per month to 48,000 gallons and his water patterns have remained the same.
One resident said she quit watering her yard, but her bill reflected 6,000 gallons more despite the cut in watering.
The water district, which is funded solely by water sales, did not share any solutions on the issues, but said they will not ignore the customers concerns and issues.
The extra income, estimated at $100,000 per month, will be used, in part, to help pay for a new service line to residents east of Interstate 35, a new water tower, a smart meter system and other projects.