Henderson re-thinks water bills after shut-off yields complaints
Posted February 17, 2012
Updated February 20, 2012
Henderson, N.C. — The City of Henderson expects an earful Monday when citizens have a chance to sound off about a new collection policy for water bills.
More than 300 customers woke up to dry faucets Tuesday, the result of a crackdown on delinquent payments.
"We want to keep the city in good standing to minimize losses," said City Manager Ray Griffin. So this month, the city tried to enforce a long-standing policy to shut off water to those who have not paid up.
Carrie Evans, 87, found her sink was bone dry Tuesday morning after 65 years of uninterrupted service. When she went to take her blood pressure medicine, she could not get a drink.
"It makes me mad as hell. Excuse my French, but it really burns me up," she said.
A steady parade of water customers headed to Henderson City Hall this week to express the same frustration. City policy states that they should pay a reconnect fee and a $200 security deposit to get service restored.
"I wish that we had more individuals reading their bills, because these notices and caveats about the policy have been in place," Griffin said.
The outcry was so great that the city called a special meeting to hear from customers. A policy change may be in order. Griffin said they are considering waiving security deposits for those who have paid on time in the past.