H2O telethon hopes to raise funds for families without water
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We can't live without water, but some folks around the Cape Fear struggle to get it every day. New Hanover County is trying to help. Help 2 Others is a new water assistance initiative by the county to help residents struggling to pay their water bills. The program is holding a telethon Saturday complete with live entertainment, games and food.

"Water is necessary to life,” New Hanover County resident Edward Sumpter said. “If you can't pay for it or you don't get it, what are you going to do?”

New Hanover County feels the same way. That’s why they started the H2O initiative.

"The idea was started in January after New Hanover County Commissioner Rick Catlin learned there were 500 households in New Hanover County that didn't have running water or sewer services to their homes,” County spokesman Charles Smith said.

New Hanover County resident Lori Drake says she's thankful she is able to pay her water bills but knows others are not as fortunate. She thinks the telethon is a great idea.

"They are probably working hard to pay the bills that they can, and the fact that that's one that they can't, and they might have kids,” Drake said.

We asked why not just lower water rates instead of raising money for those who can't pay.

"The fee structures and rates decided by the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is certainly to maintain the infrastructure and to take it where it needs to be tomorrow,” Smith explained.

In addition to raising money, the county hopes to raise awareness about the impact water has on health. From simple things like hand-washing to food preparation, water is necessary to keep things clean and sanitary.

"Bathing, brushing our teeth, taking care of our children. You know, being able to have water to drink, to cook with,” Drake said. “There are necessities in life that we need water for, and I can't imagine not having it. Even just giving it to my dogs."

"I think that's great,” Sumpter said about the telethon. “People need help paying their bills, why not help them?"

The kickoff event is from 10a.m. to 5p.m. Saturday at the New Hanover County Government Center. For more information, visit givehelp2others.com.

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It seems to me the telethon would only make for a temporary fix for these customers. What they need to do is to make CFPUA accountable for the fees and rates they charge and make them be responsible for the money they take in.

I don't mean to sound mean-spirited, but somehow, a telethon to help people pay water bills seems a little over the top. What next, a telethon to help them buy gas, or pay their car insurance or car payment? It seems that the CFPUA could put some of these residents on some sort of special program for a lesser amount of money. Maybe supply water just for absolute necessity, and not for washing cars or watering grass, and washing machines. A public laundromat would serve them much better. Those of us with incomes should not be expected to support the entire world, but it seems like that is where we are headed.

Come on a telethon what a joke.What needs to be done.Have a fair lower price/rate across the board so all citizens of New Hanover County can afford clean water and not start some dependent charity thing so more people have to relay on hand outs.Counting on it time after time.When you make people dependent on the government or charity it is not a productive thing!

Commizzioners get the point?

Not here! No they don't. They just kick problems down the line until they get out of hand. Thats the point Commissioner Brian Berger Jr. made pointing out the folly of the Rick Catlin, Jim ?Quinn, Jason Thompson original cast and crew at CFPUA. Berger fought for lower rates for everyone, last year as a CFPUA member, not subsidies for a few of the many struggling. Or the real problem, subsidies for special interests and developers of real estate.

It doesn't take a genius to see "loose cannon" Berger espouse basic common sense and 2nd grade mathematical principles. Despite his keen observations and cost-cutting ideas, he was lambasted as not caring.

Berger is the only one who cares. Update, Berger was the only one on the panel who cared and Ted Davis, Thompson, Quinn, the criminals behind the CFPUA, are back in charge with the one bright spot, Berger, kicked off (is this right?) for criticizing rate increases of 10% or more per year in this economy.

Quinn and Thompson as the old couple before Barfield and Thompson's marriage in heaven created this problem, then in a an effort to discredit Berger led by Louise McColl, her minions Thompson, Barfieled, wanda Copley, Saffo, Haynes, Tomey, Sheriff McMahon, Ben mccoy, ben David , Sandra Criner, they (and the media megaphone McColl uses) make you think Berger is this mean evil criminal, in fact, its those like Catilin and Thompson who created and benefit from a system that raises rates 10-15percent a year (inflation is what, 3%). Berger was kicked off without cause other than working to keep rates down. The Red Star and most liberal media outlets, who love rick "convention center" catlin and other big government wolves in sheeps clothing like Barfield and Davis, Thompson and Bruce Shell don't want to report the facts. If they did, there'd be a mob outside of city hall with pitchforks.

I also expect CFPUA to step up and either reduce or forgo reconnection fees and interest charges that may have accrued on these accounts.

BTW, easy online donations ($20 minimum) at the www.givehelp2others.com website.