Carolina Beach discovers $135,000 water and sewer billing error
CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WILLARD H. KILLOUGH III / ISLAND GAZETTE) — Town Manager Tim Owens says the billing department recently discovered customers were not billed enough for water and sewer services. The Town raised rates in their 2010/2011 fiscal year budget, but didn’t adjust the rates in the billing system. That means some customers paid lower rates. Owens noted that, “It is estimated that the billing error for a typical residential dwelling unit that uses 6,000 gallons of water a month paid $36 less during FY10/11 than originally scheduled.”
The Town Council will consider how to cover the estimated $135,000 loss at their meeting scheduled for Tuesday September 13, at 6:30PM at Town Hall. Owens is recommending a $3.00 per month increase for water and sewer service.
Owens explained in a memo to Council, “Upon reviewing our water and sewer billing for the FY11/12 budget, it was discovered that the variable rate for water and sewer usage above the fixed standard 3,000 gallon minimum was inadvertently not changed to the new rate for the billing cycle in FY10/11. This carried over to 1 billing month in this current budget year. The new standard 3,000 gallon flat rate was changed as proposed in the FY10/11 billing cycle and did carry over to the current budget year.”
Owens explained, “The error was identified by our new water and sewer billing clerk as she was reviewing and becoming more familiar with our system. This error continued despite a number of checks and balances that should have prevented it from happening.”
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