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ONLY ON 3: Clarkton residents say something's wrong with exorbitant water bills

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CLARKTON, NC (WWAY) -- Some residents in Clarkton say there's something wrong with their water bills. They say say it's a problem that should have been fixed months ago.

Clarkton resident Asante Meares has been paying a high water bill for several months now. She says the high price just can't be possible.

While the average monthly water bill in Wilmington is less than $70, the Town of Clarkton charges Meares up to $350 for her water in just one month.

She and many others, who did not want to talk on camera, are seeking help.

"What we really need to do as a community is try to get somebody to figure out what's going on that's making our bills so high," Meares said.

Meares has reached out already.

"People from the town have come and checked my house to make sure I don't have a leak," she said. "There is no leak. My landlord has been out here. There is no leak."

Meares says even with a job and effort to fix the situation, she cannot afford these bills and is forced to live without water at her home.

"This is a little community. This is a rural area. We don't have much here, so we need help help," she said.

Clarkton Town Attorney Cliff Hester said he had no idea about the problem. He says when residents have concerns like this, they should attend the monthly town council meeting to speak up and make the problems known.

Meares says she plans to go to the next town meeting Aug. 5. For now, she has to rely on friends and family for water.

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866-380-9816

is the toll free number for the NC Utlities Commission.

It appears the town has been out to check.

When all else fails, kick it up a notch to the State level.

No doubt some blow hard weasel will order me to keep my nose out of Columbus County affairs.

In any event, this is the best number to call and seek State assistance in getting the problem looked at.

That might at least light a

That might at least light a fire under some of the locals.

muni water systems

Tom,
I do not think the utilities commission regulates municipal systems as to rates and fees.
The rest is not necessarily directed at Tom

If she is a renter the owner of the property should be dealing with the town or the state on the matter.
The town should pull the meter and replace it with another one temporarily. They then can bench test the one they remove and see if it is accurate. They may have already done this who knows?
That seems like a lot for water but you can never tell they could have had a toilet with a stuck flap valve that ran for a week or were they watering the lawn/garden. Or a misread meter (that happens more than you know) we just do not have enough information.
What does the Town have to say?
Has it has come to the point where they have cut the water off for non-payment?

Is this the only person with the issue?
I do believe if the town was having a widespread issue they would address it rather than have it in the news.

My comment

was not directed as it relates to rates and fees.

The article indicated the town and landlord had been onsite and could not find a problem.

The town's attorney, on behalf of the town, pled ignorance.

The Commission's website provides an opportunity to file a citizen's complaint when all else fails.

That being said, and with all parties appearing to be non-hearing, non-speaking. and non-seeing monkeys, kick it up to a state agency.

If appropriate, the agency could refer to another department.

Clarkton exorbitant water bills

The town attorney should not expect someone with that problem to attend a town meeting. Does everyone with a problem like this know that the only way to solve it is to attend the meeting? That is ridiculous. She has asked for help & should get it from the town. If there is not a leak, maybe it is a problem with the meter. It should be changed. There is obviously a problem that can be solved so this lady can have water.

Can she not just call up the

Can she not just call up the town and have someone look into it without having to show up at a meeting? If she just shows up and is not on the agenda, are they going to allow her to speak or use their rules to prevent her from speaking? This is a ridiculous way of handling business.

See - sawing water bills

This is not just Asante ' problem as it is more than her household that bill fluctuates. For instance 83 year old unable to get in shower, so bathes at sink. No leakes, but bill went from $24 to $60 and no explanation or no double bill. I think somebody is very aware what's going on.