Water bill issues and concerns
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In July, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority was created to combine water and sewer services in Wilmington, and New Hanover County. Since then we have been reporting on computer problems, which lead to many people still not having received a bill and wondering how they are going to afford the bill when they do get one. Jim Giuffre said he has not received a water or sewer bill in 5 months. Now he is worried if he and others will be prepared when the bill eventually arrives. “The new bill that's going to be coming out is going to be sewer water, trash and storm water all on one bill, so when that bill comes out it's going to be enormous and I don't know if people are budgeting for it in this economy,” Giuffre said. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority's billing system is based on a tiered model. The more water you use, the more you will pay per thousand gallons. This new guideline has Mr. Giuffre concerned. “I'm not sure what I'm going to be charged per thousand gallons. Am I going to be at the high rate, low rate," said Giuffre. To address this concern, the CFPUA implemented a 70-day cap, meaning a customer will only be charged for 70 days worth of service on one bill, and will pay based on the billing tier that 70-day usage puts them in. After a few billing cycles things should even out, but Giuffre is not convinced. “Every time you call you're assured you'll get your bill next month, next month, next month so now they sent out a letter Friday saying they hope to have the problem fixed by the end of October,” Guiffre said. About 50 percent of homeowners should have already received their bills. The CFPUA hopes everyone else has them by the end of October. Until these billing issues are straightened out, no one will be charged late fees, or have their service shut-off. The CFPUA sent out some bills before the 70-day cap was put into place. Officials say even though you may have ended up in a higher tier this time around, things should even out down the road. If you still have questions or concerns, you can call customer service at 910-332-6550.

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Subject says it all... only in public government is such incompetence tolerated. These people were hired to do a job, and they have failed miserably.
Four of the candidates for County Commissioner pushed the Authority through quickly and deceptively. One of them, Jason Thompson, sits on the Authority board. so does his employee/campaign manager. Davis, Kopp and Barfield all supported it and rammed it down our throats. Only Brian Berger raised concerns about what would happen when they got there Authorty pushed through. Send a message and vote for Berger and nobody else!!!!
I agree. The letter they sent out begins "After years of planning and condisideration..." YEARS of Planning! And they still couldn't get it right! I just laughed when I got the letter Friday...it's a comedy of errors...
I've been saving $$$ every month for my, might come some day, sewer bill. Haven't received a bill since May. But it's hard to budget not knowing how much of an increase there will be. As one person stated their bill increased by almost 150%!!!! Good thing I only have a sewer bill. Why aren't they able to increase it like most folks salary raise - 2, 3 or even 5% annually - if it happens at all. Mostly likely we're paying for all their computer errors. I'll definitely vote for new blood come election day.
The MAJOR issue here is the new "BASE FEE" that adds 50% to everyone's bill. The elderly and fixed income people should be outraged, as am I. Did we know this up front - I never heard about it. This will be permanent but should be retracted!
Even though the CFPUA began on 7/1 an ordnance, issued by an unknown entity allows it to bill from May. On my first bill a base charge was added to increase my bill by 105%, secondly the sewer charge was increased by 22.5%, thirdly the water charge was increased by 16.9%. My monthly combined sewer/water bill has now increased by 149.9% from April to July without any added usage on my part.
NOT ONLY should we be FURIOUS at CFPUA we should be absolutely FOAMING AT THE MOUTH and asking our elected officials what THEY plan on doing since this is really THEIR JOB!
....why they chose this course of action after the voters told them at least twice that we had no desire to consolidate? Did any of the local news media ask? Have they ever been called to task? I don't recall the ballot initiatives asking "...but will little consolidation, in dribs and drabs, be acceptable? The voters said "NO" to consolidation. The city council members and county commissioners then said, "Drop dead, we're untouchable, and will do what we want to." Let's hope November proves them wrong. Throw every incumbent out.
...what we want or say. When citizens show up in mass (not wearing a NHCSD uniform), they are seen as bullies and rude by the Fab Four (Safo, Quinn, Padgett and Thompson). IMO, These people have done nothing but bury their hand in our...wallet as they damn well please to benefit themselves and their money friends.
I will certainly not defend these incompetent boobs who obviously have the management and bookkeeping skills of a gang of chimps, but why are people fearing the bill that will eventually arrive? If you haven't received a bill for months, WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE MONEY YOU NORMALLY BUDGETED FOR WATER, BUT DIDN'T HAVE TO PAY? The correct answer is, "Gosh, you're right CS! I stuck it in my savings account/left it in my checkbook, so it's still there and I have nothing to worry about at all." However, if you started dancing around singing, "Woo-hoo, no water bill," and blew the money on an expensive bottle of wine or taking the boat anchor out for dinner, then I guess you DO have something to worry about. Did it not dawn on you to hang onto the money until the bill did arrive? Does it take an abundance of brains to plan something that simple? This sounds like yet another self-induced headache brought on by individual financial mismanagement.
Amen! I couldn't put this better myself. Why are these people acting like a bunch of cry-babies? You knew a consolidation of services was to occur. You knew (because it's Wilmington and incompetent people are hired to run important programs) that there were going to be problems. Yet you did not budget money accordingly? Why didn't you put the amount of a normal bill into a savings account and at least earn interest? You would be MAKING money (a small amount, but still) on this error! The people affected by this should be thanking the city/county instead of complaining about their own fiscal irresponsibility.
money aspect is of NO ISSUE to me as I can pay it without a problem...what I take issue with is ACCOUNTABILITY, which our elected leadership as shucked off on someone else...come November you can BET I won't be voting for incumbents..I want the LOT of them GONE to the trash heap! The didn't listen now..WE their bosses are having to put up with THEIR stupidity...it means we FIRE THEIR REAR ENDS!