Couple battling city over high water bills - WNEM TV 5

Couple battling city over high water bills

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan man, who is disabled and retired, is getting soaked by his water bill.

His high water bills have led to a two-year battle with his local officials.

The Durand couple claim they are not wasting water and can’t believe regular use is causing the wave of water charges they’re now facing. The city disagrees.

“We’re getting bounced around, basically,” said Jessie Maldonado, Durand resident.

He and his wife Karen have reached the boiling point when it comes to their water bills. Ever since October 2016 the couple has received water bills that seem pretty high. They average between $150 to $180 a month.

Their neighbor’s bill is half the price.

Jessie Maldonado said the city told him he is using 10,000 gallons a month.

He said the water department has visited his house several times, taken readings and even replaced the water meter a couple of times. He said he has energy efficient toilets, a small washing machine and they buy bottled water to cook and drink with.

The Maldonados watch their water usage very closely. They won’t even water their lawn.

Colleen O’Toole, with the city water department, said the water being used by the Maldonados is being measured accurately. She said the city installed a new meter at the city’s expense to make sure it is correct.

The city said there may be a leak in Maldonado’s house. If that’s the case, the Maldonados are responsible for fixing it.

Jessie Maldonado said he has closely written down every time they use water in the house and there’s no way it adds up to the bill he is being presented.

He said the city told him it could owe him some cold, hard cash.

He said the only choice he and his wife have right now is to move because they can’t afford to keep flushing money on their water bills.

His wife isn’t happy with that decision.

“This is just ridiculous. We don’t want to have to move, but the city of Durand is pushing us out,” Karen Maldonado said.

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