Jackson schools wants refund after double billing for water

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Controversy is bubbling up in Jackson over a disputed water bill.

But this isn’t your average bill dispute.

The Jackson School District recently discovered it was being overcharged for water and says the city owes them more than $57,000.

When crews were doing work outside Jackson High School’s football stadium this past summer, they made a shocking discovery.

“There are actually two water meters on the same line and so they’re double billing,” said Jackson Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Beal.

The line goes into the stadium for watering the field, concessions, and bathrooms.

The school district believes this has been going on for at least 15 years, and the city of Jackson now owes them more than $57,000 to make up for the over-billing.

“It’s a significant amount of money. Now that we’ve found it, we have to do something about it,” Beal said.

School records indicate that initially the city only offered to pay $2,000 of what they owe.

Jackson Schools counter-offered, agreeing to receive just $24,000 of the $57,000.

But a deal has still not been reached.

“I think it’s safe to say it’s going to be settled pretty soon,” said Will Forgrave, the city of Jackson’s Public Information Officer.

The city says they don’t know how the meter got there and why it went unnoticed for so long.

“That’s something we want to figure out. And we don’t have any documents or memories of installing it ourselves. It’s a ghost meter, nobody knows how it got there,” Forgrave said.

It’s a lot of money that the district can put to good use.

“I am optimistic that the city is going to return the over-billing to the students here at Jackson Public Schools,” Beal said.

Both the city and school district say they want to resolve this issue before it could end up in court.

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