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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Billing issues continue with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. This time its a county-owned property facing significant back billing.

CFPUA recently hit Airlie Gardens with a nearly $7,000 bill. For Airlie Gardens Director Jim McDaniel, it’s tough pill to swallow.

“We received a notice that the bill for Airlie Gardens, that particular property where we have a lift station, had not been billed their sewer rates for about approximately four years, and the bill is almost $7,000,” McDaniel said.

Airlie’s bill is only a small part of what CFPUA has been and will be back billing countywide.

For McDaniel, the bill was a surprise for which the facility did not budget.

“We are a large company basically, and we have the ability to tighten our belts to do that as a county,” he said. “So you know, I’m sure it was a shock to others as well.”

McDaniel was especially surprised because the county and CFPUA went over the billing for Airlie years ago, because the utility charges Airlie for handling storm water, even though the gardens don’t give off storm water. In fact, Airlie takes in four million gallons of run-off each year.

The CFPUA says it is trying to deal with each of its customers involved in the back billing fairly.

“We have not had a conversation with them about storm water,” CFPUA Service Director Nancy Johnson said about Airlie. “That account was set up by the city to bill them, and so we have not have a conversation with them as the authority about that account. Certainly if they had questions or concerns we’d be glad to work with them.”

Regardless, McDaniel says Airlie plans to pay the full bill.

The park is just one of more than 400 customers impacted for a total back billed amount of about $380,000.

The CFPUA says the back billing has been going on the past 18 months because of human errors made setting up these accounts by the city, county and authority when it was formed in 2008.

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