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Water Fight Over Pricey Bill

Updated: Wednesday, July 16 2014, 02:45 PM CDT

It's a water fight that's no fun at all. Patricia Jones doesn't know why her water bill in April of 2013 was more than $500, but neither does anyone who works for the village of Riverton where she lives. Still-- they want Patricia Jones to pay up or get her utilities cut off. 

"My bill was like 7-hundred and something and of course I looked at it, and that's when I noticed the water was $534.70," Jones said.

Jones has lived in her Riverton home for 12 years. Her average water bill is usually around $20 a month.

"So now they're saying I owe this by-- I think it's Thursday," Jones said.

In the 15-months since she initially got the bill, she has contested in writing, in-person, and over the phone. When it was placed back on her bill recently, we asked Riverton Mayor Tom Rader about the over the top bill.

"I would question it like they have, but at the end of the day if I couldn't prove where the water went then yeah-- I would have to pay it," he said.

Initially, the Mayor Rader told us Jones fell behind on a payment plan for the unexplained bill. When she showed up with her fiance and documentation of her dispute, the story changed.

"Obviously, I didn't use $534.70 in one month-- worth of water," Jones said.

In the impromptu meeting--- a worker from the village confirmed that he checked. Jones has no water leaks at her home.

"Last year there was probably some miscommunication that went on. Um-- I really wish you would've probably stayed in closer contact with us," Mayor Rader said.

Even though her water bills have been back in the $20 range since that spike last year, village ordinance says she has to pay. The mayor says Jones can make her case to the Village Utility Committee. That should be scheduled within the next month. By the way-- that committee is made up of three trustees but no one else from the community.

Water Fight Over Pricey Bill


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