Meridian City Council members say some landlords are draining the system by not paying for water use. That's why they're looking for ways to make them pay up.
According to council members, at least some of that problem is being caused by landlords who will not make needed repairs and/or even pay water bills. Ultimately, this leaves the renters to foot the costs, which city council members say is not fair.
"Yes, very much so. If they have to pay their rent, they need to be treated fairly," said Ward 4 councilman, Jesse Palmer, Sr.
"It's something that's going to have to be worked out, maybe with an ordinance of another kind, not changing the ordinance that governs them, but a new kind of ordinance to make the landlords take care of their business," said Ward 3's Barbara Henson, council president.
During a recent work session, city councilman, Dr. George Thomas, asked city officials to review an ordinance that's now in place, which addresses this same concern with landlords.
"I'm not sure if we need to do it, but it holds the property owner responsible for those things," said Thomas. "There are some cities that have an ordinance that holds the land owners responsible."
Right now, it's unknown if the city of Meridian will adopt an ordinance similar to the one in Madison.
However, one thing that is for sure is that city council members say they do want to look at a way to protect renters from consequence that come from the owner's negligence.
If you are having problems with your water billing because of a landlord, or for any reason, officials say you should contact Meridian Public Works at 601-485-1950, or e-mail water billing at meridianms.org.