Local News

Man Upset City Won't Reimburse Him For Years Of Overpaid Trash Fee

Posted March 3, 2005

— Imagine paying thousands of dollars for a city service you don't even get.

That's what happened to a Henderson man.

A billing error went unnoticed for more than 18 years, and Sam Smith has been paying the city of Henderson too much.

Smith lives just beyond the Henderson city limits. He doesn't get trash pick up, but he's been charged for the service for 18 years.

Smith figures city hall owes him a refund of nearly $3,000.

After bringing it to the city's attention he got a refund for only $757.

"Our hands are tied on what we can and cannot do," said John Wester, Henderson City Council member. "The North Carolina League of Municipalities has advised us that the statue of limitations for us to pay is two years, we've gone beyond that to pay three years, which I think is a fair way to treat all citizens."

Smith isn't happy with the amount.

"...and their main goals in Henderson is to cleanup a lot of stuff that's been sour in Henderson," Smith said. "And for them to tell me they can't pay me all my money, I was very disappointed."

As for Smith's most recent trip to the mailbox, it included a new bill without the $25 sanitation fee but also a threat to cut off his water if he doesn't pay up promptly.

Smith says he's learned his lesson.

From now on, he'll pay close attention to the charges on his bills


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