It appears the water woes in Canton continue tonight. Some residents who attended a city council there this evening told our crew they more confused and upset than when they arrived.
They want to know why their bills have been so high recently, in some cases 500 to 600 dollars. Residents tell me the average water bill is usually no more than 50 bucks a month however those bills appear to have suddenly spiked.
Greg Pollitt said after multiple failed attempts to reach a homeowner by letter the water department started sending out bills with what is called a "high or inflated estimate." The water department was hoping that would get people to make contact so they could schedule a time to upgrade their water meter. If the letters don't work, plan b was leaving a notice on their door, and finally, they can cut your water off all together. Even with these answers, homeowners tell us they're confused by the new bills and the approach the city is taking.
Grace Bohler, said her water bill quadrupled. "I called the city and said hey what's going on? and their response was 'Well I'm sorry but you're gonna have to pay it.' I left a message for the head of the water department to call me. He claims he never got the message, so I called the mayor's office."
Some residents tell us they later learned they don't have to pay the inflated amounts however the city would not confirm that for us tonight.
Meanwhile, one landlord at tonight's meeting says he's skeptical and is worried he will be stuck paying his tenants bills when or if they can not afford it. "You have to follow the legal steps and if you don't have the money to hire an attorney you try to do it 'pro-se' you do the best you can. It's just a lot to jump through and sometimes you say hey, it's not worth it," a Canton resident and property owner said.
The Canton Water Department Superintendent declined to speak on camera tonight, however he did explain if a resident paid more on their bill than what is actually due, the resident will be credited the remainder to their next bill. If you have questions call the water department directly to find out what you really owe.
City of Canton Water Department (309) 647-0288