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County chairman says it's time for CFPUA to get things straightened out

READ MORE: County chairman calls for replacement of CFPUA board, CEO if things don't improve

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has been under fire from customers since it started operating a couple years ago. Now it's getting heat from New Hanover County Commission Chair Jason Thompson. Thompson says the Utility Authority is neglecting the public's concerns and not addressing major issues like billing problems and rate hikes.

Wilmington and New Hanover County consolidated their water and sewer services to form the CFPUA in 2008. CEO Matt Jordan says with that merge, the authority inherited more than $300 million in debt from the city and the county.

"I want all the viewers to know we're doing our part every year to look hard at what we do to make sure we continually improve and that we're efficient and that we hold down our cost and continue to reduce cost as we have over the first two years of our existence," Jordan said.

Jordan says the Authority is doing all it can to lower rates and improve infrastructure, but Thompson is not convinced.

"It's been, I guess, close to three years, and I'm still getting way too many complaints, way too many e-mails, people bringing me their bill saying 'How is it possible I used 68,000 gallons?' or 'This is an empty lot, there's not even water and sewer. Why are the sending me a bill?'" Thompson said.

Thompson plans to address the CFPUA problems at the next County Commission meeting.

The CFPUA plans to increase rates by a maximum of 15 percent next year. That increase will go toward repaying debt on improvement projects.

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i say

bye bye cfpua you screwed up and your fired you raise rates to pay for high payed people not for the red rings in my sinks and toliets my water quailty would be better if i got a five gallon bucket and got water out of the cape fear river.


I can't speak for everyone, but my family size has stayed the same for 15 years. Our water bill started out 15 years ago being on average, 18.00 for two months. Our water tower was sold. It started to be on average, 24.00 for two months. Our water tower was sold again. It started to be on average, 38.00 for two months. Our water tower was sold again to CFPUA. Our water, on average, is 97.00 for two months. This is almost triple. It never tripled before.We don't even have to pay sewer, as we have septic here. I sure do feel sorry for people who have to pay sewer.

Jason and the Authority..

I trust neither of these to look out for NHC best interests.
The Authority inherited their mess thanks to years of neglect from prior elected officials. If they did not realize the pathetic shape everything was in, their bad. That does not excuse their actions since the formation of this unholy merger.
Jason seems to jump on whatever bandwagon can tote his butt the farthest...yeah, he can go in there and fire the CEO, wrestle the board members, but in the end it's just so he can say "look what I did for you my loyal constituents! All hail Jason!". Ya know what? Our rates are still going to go up tremendously, their billing errors will continue and their customer service will suck.
Jason- can you do anything real? Your soundbite-showboating is tiring.

Lemme Get This Straight...

They come the minimum doubled our water/sewer they are going to raise the rates by another 15%?

Guess we all rolled two 6's when we landed on Water Works.

CFPUA.... I suggest citizens


I suggest citizens look no further than what s's happened to Jefferson Co. Alabma..
Are **WE** in the predicament of "paying off" **BONDS** that were made by the like of JP Morgan et al?....
One person, Living on a fixed income pays MORE with MY WATER/SEWER/ than I do electric.... Per monthly bases...
LOOK NO Further than Jefferson Co. Alamama...
You'll see the simularties...
(bonds paying for new infurstuctor)....
That's what needs to be looked at...
Jefferson Co. just went BANKRUPT! On their water/sewer "improvements", ie: BOND DEFAULT...
Will it happen here?, I think so...

On a recent weekday morning

On a recent weekday morning I saw a CFPUA truck coming from south of Lanvale Road on Hwy 17. I don't think they service Brunswick County so obviously an employee driving a company truck home.

All utility providers have

All utility providers have to pay people to be on call to handle emergencies. Do you want someone to show up at your house in the middle of the night in their Ford Pinto with no tools to fix your problem? Do you want to wait for them to cross Wilmington traffic to get to their parking lot to change vehicles while your driveway washes away or your floors flood with sewege? Let's get a little more STUPID here. Give them a break dipstick!

i like this

i love the new trucks they have wow that is why the rates are also going up watch them drive around need to pay for that diesel just watch them and follow them arund and see what they do


Not 10 mlnutes after reading this post,I took a walk and around the corner under a shade tree I saw a truck parked and the driver reading the newspaper.

CFPU - Unbelieveable Rates

Glad to see I have company when moaning about our bills. Here are examples I am personally aware of:
1. moved from one city residence to another - $50 to set up new acount (wish I got paid that much to type a name and address in a computer
2. My wife and I are alone. Water lawn once per week when no rain.Water. Water/sewer bill = $288. My electric bill was only $225
3. Neighbor has a family of 5. Water/Sewer bill was $560. Hope there are no more children on the way.
4.Neighbors house is empty for last 3 months. Sprinklers used once per week per keep lawn from totally dying. No other water usage. Water/Sewer bill of $325.

Unbelievable charges, unbelieveable incompetence, and unbelieveable attitudes when you call to complain. And to think this consolidation was originally designed to save money.


SOMETHING's rotten in Denmark....SOMETHING isn't right with your calculations...I live in an average of four, three women who run the hot water heater dry...72 bucks is the highest I have paid. If I add my sprinklers in once a week...another 70-100 bucks....I eventually put in an irrigation my bill has never gone above the 72 dollars or so a month...IF your bill is really that high..YOU HAVE LEAKS SOMEWHERE!!

rotten in Wilm..

Is your $72 per month or is that your bi-monthly bill?
My home: 2 adults, 2 baths, 2 dogs, not even hooked up to city water (yet)... $80/mo for trash, sewer and stormwater fees. No leaks here, yet our bill keeps going up, up, up...I'll keep my well as long as I can.

Out of many tens of thousands of customers...'s obvious to me that the same three or four people make the same tired anti-cfpua rants whenever there is a chance to post about the authority. Since the authority obviously came down on what you consider to be the wrong side of your personal issue with them you expand these complaints to cover all. Not so.

In order for real progress to be made serious inquiries need to be made into real problems like the incestuous relationship between the developer community and the CFPUA board. There are many quantifiable and actionable examples of collusion between these two groups starting with the developer agrrements. That's just one example of a problem, but it's one that will affect all of us for years to come. Constantly publicly screaming foul because you don't like the size of your bill or you did not want to be connected does not accomplish anything at all.

Why Doesn't the Media get it?

People will always complain about the size of their bill or how nice the CFPUA trucks look.

We need media that is responsible enough to dig into the long term problems and deeply seated corruption that are a result of the organized influence of the developers on the CFPUA board. This is boring and not as sexy (hard reporting = hard work!) and that is why the media outlets keep running the same old tired stories that just "nibble at the edges" of the real problems here.


It's about time that the citizens get the right to vote on any rate increases not let a few who's pockets are being filled.How much do the board members make,along with names.Let the people vote.

The rate increases go

The rate increases go towards projects. Also, maybe if you would go to a public meeting instead of gripping about the increases, you would know who the baord members were and why the increases are passed.

use the power of the vote

if you are unhappy with the current "regime"
from the top down
vote them out!
do not be silent

And more

And county citizens call for replacement of the county chairman. I do hope your elected time will soon come to an end jason.

Wow, the "politically

Wow, the "politically connected" are beginning to eat their own...

No shock

jason is a putz calling out another putz in an attempt to take the heat away.

CFPUA Higher Rate

All county and city residents should take a look at their May 2008 and June 2008 water/sewer bills if they still have copies. Even though the service was received from the county/city because they were two months behind in billing the CFPUA, when they formed on 7/1/08, decided to charge all residents the new higher CFPUA rate for those months. Why? One answer given was because it was more convenient to only charge the one rate versus adjusting the back bills to the lower rates charged by the county/city.

The CFPUA even passed an internal ordinance allowing them to do such.So, how legal was this? Do you think that possibly the CFPUA defrauded the residents by charging the higher rate? Did the county/city get any of the extra monies collected? Or, did the CFPUA just pocket the extra monies?

No commissioner, no council member, no media seems to seek a factual answer.

Rate Increases

Ok, so if the rate increases are directed at fixing the infrastructure, then once those projects are done and paid for the rates will go back down, right? WRONG!!! My water bill was around $10/month and I had a septic system that worked just fine for free. So after paying a $2000 MANDATORY "connection fee" to the sewer line and hiring a plumber to tie me in for over $1000, now I pay over $100/month for water & $60/month for sewer. I live in a 3 bedroom/2bath ranch with just me and my wife!!! These people are CRIMINALS!!!!

Time for Brian Berger

I made the mistake of not voting for Berger before, but not again. Brian Berger was right about the CFPUA, the ridiculous rate hikes, taxes in New Hanover County, corruption and forced annexation and illegal immigration. He is the only candidate who has been on the right side of these issues, Catlin-Causey-Butler are just more of the same. Where were they five years ago when Berger was fighting for us, just normal taxpayers, not for personal profit but because Berger is the real deal. Berger is the only candidate who deserves to be elected to County Commission, the rest are go-along types looking out for themselves and their special interests. Republicans who support Catlin are the problem, giving us empty suits who lie their way into office pretending to be conservatives, and shame on the GOP for supporting Catlin and not Berger, by far the BEST choice and I encourage everyone to vote for Berger and only Brian Berger, save your other vote instead of voting for any of the other empty suits. Only Berger has been fighting for us!


how about we just TAKE IT ALL BACK..let Wilmington take care of their end and NHC take care of theirs...and save ourselves SOME MONEY!


That would make everyone happy but city residents. The city has failed to take care of their end of things for years. Now they want us all to pay for their mess. Getting rid of the CFPUA would be a wonderful idea. Then I would be paying reasonable rates for water and sewer.


city residents need to get their heads out of their rear ends and vote in some leadership that can run things the way they should be!

Jason.....don't drink the cool aid !

Jason - If you meet with CFPUA Chairman Gene Renzaglia, don't drink the cool aid! You can't trust a thing he says. Remember, Renzaglia was the one that went on camera and told the public he didn't give his pal Matt Jordan a raise....problem was, he did! He was never held accountable for that whopper. A change in the direction at the CFPUA starts with kicking him to the curb. If you need me to buy you a boot, let me know.


For once, I agree with Mr Thompson. The whole Board needs to be cleaned out and replaced. The CFPUA is a nightmare. They are an un-elected entity that has the power to tax. Something has to be done to make them accountable to the voters. Their relationship with the City Council and Mayor smells like a dead fish; something is not right there. If their rate increases were indeed "programmed in from the start", they need to de-program them at once. We already pay far too much as compared to other counties for water and sewer; and trash as well. The City and County need to re-take complete ownership of the water and sewer system since it is truly a public utility and no competition exists to make the free market work.


All I see of the new water authority are guys riding around or worse sitting in brand new $45,000 trucks. The county's regime at least mowed the grass around the sewage pumping stations. Under the CFPUA, they're using ROUND UP as a subsitute for mowing in wetland sensitive areas. I've endured a 50% rate increase for THIS ! Why the expense of a 11 member board when a 5 member board is sufficient. Jason Thompson is right to keep the presure on. I hope Brian Berger gets elected to increase the pressure on this bureaucratic morass.

Brian Berger was right

I must admit to sharing same feelings as those of others who have commented. CFPUA is just one sympton of what is wrong in NHC. But, we let it take place by maintaining self perpetuating failed leadership like Jason. I am now a firm believer that Brian Berger would deal with this issue better. I dont agree with him on all issues--but he had the courage to challenge the old guard and he has been consistent.
Berger would help clean this mess up and he has earned my vote