Some Taylorville residents outraged over high water bill
TAYLORVILLE, Ill. (WICS) —
Water rates in Taylorville have been rising rapidly.
The city said in the last four years, rates have gone up nearly 100 percent, to fund a new water treatment plant.
However, the last rate increase was in May and some residents said they are still seeing an increase.
"We've had numerous complaints here the last couple billing cycles and it's hard to pinpoint one specific problem, there's a whole host of problems," said Chairman Shawn Burtle, for the Taylorville Water/ Environmental Committee.
Burtle said the four-year water rate increase is just one reason people’s bills are higher.
He said another reason people could be seeing a higher bill could be due to a server crash in the city treasurer’s office back in July.
"In some cases people didn't get bills and in some cases people had estimated bills," said Burtle.
The city sent out notices to residents to come in to the office if they didn’t get a bill.
Also on each water bill there was a statement on the bottom left corner that explained the bill was just an estimate and fees could increase when the server was fixed.
Billie Heberling, a Taylorville mom, was one person who received an estimated bill.
"I'm use to paying 90 dollars for a two-month bill and it was over 200 dollars. That's higher than my electric bill,” she said.
Heberling said she's not the only one who had this problem.
"I was told there were over 500 shut off notices that went out. It's Christmas season, people can't buy Christmas presents for their family because they have to pay their water bill,” she explained.
In response, Heberling made a Facebook group: Citizens of Taylorville Fed up with High Water Rates.
It already has 400 members.
One of those members is Steven Toberman, who opened his mail to find a bill almost 5 times higher than usual.
"I about fell over," said Toberman.
He called the city and they told him he must have a leak, but he said he doesn't,
Now, he wants answers.
"Taylorville as a community, we're just trying to find out what's going on because I’m not the only one with a high water bill,” said Toberman.
The city said if anyone has concerns about their water bill they should see the city treasurer to find out if it is correct or not.
Also, the city can send someone to check their water system to see if there’s a leak.
There's also a water committee meeting Monday at Taylorville City Hall at 6:00pm.
Residents said they'll be there to get their voices heard.