WHITE SETTLEMENT (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of residents in White Settlement are expressing their frustration after receiving water bills from the city for hundreds of dollars more than what they have been used to paying.
Tiffany Gravelle is one of those residents, and said that her usually $60 bill went up to $400 this past month.
When she and her husband opened the bill, Gravelle said that they were stunned. “I think he was blown away,” she stated. “I asked him, ‘So, what is it? What’s the bill?’ He said, ‘$400.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding me.’ And when he showed me the bill, I was like, ‘What are we going to do about this?'”
White Settlement city manager Jeff James explained the billing, saying that they are trying to collect back pay on water usage that was mistakenly undercharged for a period of six months because of a software glitch. As an example of the issue, James said, “If you used 11,000 gallons, it dropped the last zero and it only billed you for 1,100 gallons.”
James explained that the one-time fee on the bills are an effort to recuperate the money that should have been paid had there not been a glitch in their system. But that explanation is not sitting well with everyone in the city.
Gravelle went on to say that she and her husband are still upset, and now trying to figure out what to do next. “Why now, after six months, are they just now coming to tell us that there was a mess up? Why didn’t they catch this a long time ago?” Gravelle asked.
“I’m sorry that this has happened,” James added, “and I wish this hadn’t happened.”
City officials said that they are willing to work with residents on installment plans to pay off the bills, and residents will not be fined or have their water service cut off for not paying the bills in full.