COUNTY SPECIAL DISTRICTS WATER BILLS ADD INSULT TO INJURY

COUNTY SPECIAL DISTRICTS WATER BILLS ADD INSULT TO INJURY

For the 1,500 customers of County Special Districts in Landers and another 750 in Morongo Valley who depend on the county for water, their current water bills add insult to injury. Assignment reporter Mike Lipsitz explains …

September’s invoices from County Special Districts are the first to reflect a 20 percent rate increase approved to go into effect July 18. But in their zeal to institute the new rates the accounting department began charging the higher rates July 1, 2 ½ weeks early. Correcting the error would have been a minor fix had it occurred to anyone at Special Districts to take meter readings July 18 when the new rates were supposed to begin. But that didn’t happen. Another almost six weeks would pass before anyone collected the data from the radio-read meters. So now Special Districts is busy trying to come up to come up with formulas to estimate refunds due ratepayers. When asked what could be done for customers whose consumption occurred mainly in the first 18 days of the billing cycle, Special District’s Principal Budget Officer Michael Wildes offered no answer, calling that “a one-in-a-million possibility.”

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