(4) comments Back to story

Ted Wagner

For consideration, Heber:

Citizens are provided basic services, such as water, and trust monthly costs are billed accurately.

In late 2013, the City of Galveston announced that water usage for some has been estimated, due to water meter issues. The announced solution involved a multi-party approach:

1) Physically fix/repair the individual affected meters (5000+ ?),
2) Manual meter reading, and
3) A 'true-up" in the billing process, adjusting where estimates Vs actual were skewed.
(note: individual citizens were not notified by the City their meters were affected by this issue, as I understand)

With such a pervasive problem, and a multi-party solution where one entity may not be fully informed of the overall status, will individual citizens be informed of the date when their meters have been repaired, and when City has completed the "true-up" process? (or that their meter was never affected)?

As part of the commitment to provide reliable and accurate services to its citizens, Is it reasonable for citizens to expect that the City has accountability to inform individual citizens of their meter/billing status, given how extensive the issues have been?

Steve Fouga

And here's something odd: for the past several months, even though I always pay my water bill the day I receive it, there is always an amount in arrears. It's like they can't catch me up, no matter what! I called to complain, and they refused to believe I had paid on time. I called the following month when the same thing happened, and they just told me to ignore the arrears amount in the future. So that's what I'm doing...

Ted Wagner

I had questions, and sent emails to BMaxwell, PublicWorks, copying MRobb & the Mayor, given the complexity of the issue & multi-party solution. The only person to reply was MRobb, who asked the City to followup. That was 2 weeks ago. The complexity of the problem (and believe me, I understand it's a daunting task) & lack of replies, leads me to believe that answers are not clear, nor is accountability. Nonetheless, despite the challenge, I think the City minimally owes its citizens the answers to the questions raised. Someone must be able say when things are fixed/billing is accurate, on a per-meter/customer basis, IMO

Never had been delinquent before all of this. And just last week, I received a PastDue Letter, threatening termination of service. WHAT?

Ted Wagner

I must apologize, as the City did respond to my email, and rather promptly (and I overlooked). The reply was extensive, including confirmation that:

1. Further investigation is ongoing regarding a potential billing issue.

2. The process of estimating water usage, intermittent manual meter reads & periodic true-up continues.

I appreciate the confirmation that the issue remains. I look forward to the City acknowledging that the ultimate solution includes providing confirmation, on a individual meter/customer basis, when transponders/billing are resolved, and trust all parties are working together with this end in mind.

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