By Tiffany Pelt - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – After threats to shut off the water at a mobile home park, even more Slaton residents and businesses have come forward with complaints about the City of Slaton Water Department.
Two local businesses said their water meters are not being checked on a monthly basis, which is causing problems with their water bills.
One of the businesses wanted to remain unnamed, but showed us her meter. Half way full of dirt and water, the meter is completely hidden and clearly hasn't been checked in months, maybe longer.
Building Blocks Learning Center owner Ginger Perdue has also had problems with her meter not getting read since 2001, when she first opened her business. "The meters are not being read right, and I've gone out there and taken pictures and stuff to make sure they're reading it, and there will be discrepancies and I'll have them come back and read it," she said.
For several months in a row Perdue will be charged for the same amounts of water consumption. Then once she starts complaining to the water department to check her meter, her usage will spike. One of her bills didn't even show the meter reading to explain the sudden jump that cost her more than $150 than her previous bill.
"I feel like they're just putting down numbers to make it look like they're doing their job. They just drive by, sometimes they don't even get out. Then when they start cracking down them, they'll come read our meters," said Perdue.
Perdue understands her water bill may go up each month if they start to really check her water meter when they should, but she would rather have the right bill each month than let it build up to pay all at once. "I want a stable bill, and to not have to worry about getting a bill that's $300-$400 as to where if they would have read it right and split it up I could have budgeted that," said Perdue.
When confronted on the issue, Slaton Mayor D.W. England said if employees fail to do their jobs, they will be punished. "It better, better not be that way. If there are a number of them we'll make some personnel adjustments. The accuracy of our reading the meters is so important for the people to feel they're treated right," said England.
KCBD NewsChannel 11 was told there is an ongoing complaint file against the City of Slaton Water Department at the Texas Attorney General's Office. We have requested those documents and will continue to look into these problems.
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