THIS MORNING: Mason city officials address why residents might be seeing high water bills

News

Some Mason residents have taken to social media complaining about what they’re calling “unusually high water bills” and now city officials are responding.

They say there are a lot of reasons why residents might be seeing an increase ranging from having a new baby, to finding a leak, or even having kids who take more showers or do more laundry because they’re in after-school sports.

In July of last year, the city of Mason made the switch from quarterly to monthly utility billing but since then, dozens of people have commented on social media saying their water bills are higher than normal.

Mason’s city manager, Deborah Stuart, says the goal of the switch was to make it easier for those on restricted incomes to make payments.

“A lot of our seniors, those that are on disability, it was difficult for them to manage a large quarterly bill. The other problem we were seeing, was that we would find leaks at the quarter and the owner is responsible for paying for the leak whether they knew about it or not. So we had some bills that were $10 thousand, $9 thousand because there was a massive leak that they didn’t know about,” says Stuart.

Stuart says along with the switch, at the same time the annual water rate increased by about 2% and the meter charge increased by about .90 cents a month.

She says that should have only added up to be about a $4.00 increase from last year.

If not, she says there could be a leak or something else going on.

“As you hit those units, you’re charged. You may hit more units in one case in one month because of how it falls and then the next month you may hit less because of how that falls.. but it’s only by actual usage,” says Stuart.

Stuart says one unit is about 1,000 gallons of water.

Most families are using about 5 units.. but depending on what unit you hit, you could be paying more or less each month.

She urges residents with concerns to give the city a call.

They’ll walk through your usage with you and try to figure out the problem.

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