An error made by the Victoria County Water Control Improvement District #1 now has ALMS housing in hot water. The water district says the low income housing owes them around $40,000 in back billed payments. Attorney for VCWCID #1 Mike Gershon says this is how the problem started:
"People were being charged at rates that applied prior to the rate increase, most customers in the district have been paying on the proper rate since they were increased in March 2015 and effective April 1, 2015," Gershon said.
For ten months 12 customers from around the community were charged at rates prior to the rate increase and when the water district found out about the error they made the decision to have those affected pay within 90 days which Ed McCarthy, Attorney representing ALMS, says isn't fair.
"For one thing is they want ten months worth of payments in a 3 month period, they screwed up that's not reasonable, secondly the amount they are charging is too high, we are willing to pay for what we owe for what we properly should've been billed but they are billing us too high," McCarthy said.
The water district says they made the decision based on policy, the amount of balance and the nature of the error. The water district says everyone else who was affected has paid.
"We advised the customers and they had the opportunity to either pay off the correct balances immediately or over an extended period of time, all off the customers paid all with the exception of one a customer by the name of ALMS," Gershon said.
Now, the tenants who have been affected could see their water turned off if their landlords and the water district don't come to a resolve.
"Realize there is an error on their part and we'll have the opportunity to sit down and talk to them and work out and resolve the dispute and correct the error and be able to pay and calculate the amount if any is still owed to the district and pay that amount," McCarthy said.
The water board voted to shut off water to ALMS residents that have been affected by the error on Tuesday May 23, 2017 morning at 8am.