Water Billing Subject of Council Work Session

Some changes could be on the way for water bills in Meridian.

During a work session Thursday, city council members requested a review of the billing system. They say the system is confusing for some residents and changes need to be made.

Ward 1 councilman, Dr. George Thomas, led the charge to simplify water bills.

"I'm telling you, because for the vast majority of people in this city, that is a complicated looking piece of paper," said Thomas.

City officials converted from single cards for water bills to a full sheet of paper, which contains much more detailed information about customers' bills.

"It does contain a lot of information on the bill," said city clerk and chief financial officer, Ed Skipper, who said the changes in billing were made to improve efficiency. "We've implemented new software for accounting and billing and functions and that gives us more reports, so we can analyze the whole system better."

"I don't know if we'll make a lot of changes, but I think it will be emphasized very clearly on that bill when it's due and what your billing dates were," said Thomas. "A lot of other material on there that people don't want will be left off."

Thomas says any information that would be left off the bill would still be available at the water department.

City officials are also looking at the possibility of contracting out the job for reading water meters. By doing this, they say the person or persons would work under a contract and the city would not have to pay for benefits, in turn, saving the city money.

At this time there's no word on when any of the proposed changes could take place.

Since the new city hall has opened, there are some new ways to pay your water bill. You may take it up to the second floor of city hall or place it in the drop box outside. And customers may still use the dedicated drive-thru method at Trustmark National bank downtown.

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  • by tameka on Feb 24, 2012 at 07:34 AM
    I tell you these water bils are very crazy mine's have been $100 to $120 just for one month. And because of this I am behind paying my water bill and it seems to not bother them. The department tryed to make me pay the whole bill which is 220 for two months how da heck are we surpose to live and pay our other bills if the city want work with you or explain why the water bills are so high I think I would know if i had a water leak. I really think they not reading the water meters properly or something. But I have to pay may water bill if i want water and they know that.
  • by Michelle Location: Meridian on Feb 23, 2012 at 07:55 PM
    I've noticed a steady increase in the amount of my bill,while there are still the same number of people in my household performing the same activities. my residence is empty from 7am til 8-9 pm. Can someon please explain $50 water,$50 sewer,and $12 garbage;and by the way,trash pickup decreased to once a week but the price increased to $12. Is this how the citizens of Meridian are being charged for a "project" that most of us did not want or care for and that went way over budget?
  • by Anonymous on Feb 23, 2012 at 05:23 PM
    I have a problem with being threatened with immediate loss of service if my bill is late getting there. I usually mail it, because it's the least hassle to me. But the postal service is rotten at moving the mail. If an employee drops it under a shelf, you're in trouble. I always pay my bill in a timely fashion. I don't like being threatened. I had something weird happen one time. Someone else's payment was mistakenly applied to my account and then removed when it was discovered. I didn't know any of this had happened. The amount was tacked back on to the bill, no explanation, plus about $20 more....for the CITY'S pipe leak. I go down there to find out what is up with $119 water bill and they say I must have a leak on my property from a hard freeze. No, the CITY had a leak. My bill went down the next couple of months for being overcharged, but they never explain that, and by God, will never apologize for it. I asked how I was supposed to know about the mistaken credit to my account. Oh, well, "they" are supposed to send a letter but they don't always do that. How about never? No, the city will never admit it's wrong. You can bank on that!
  • by Sam Location: North Meridian on Feb 23, 2012 at 05:02 PM
    First time to comment.. What happened to the "pay your bill online"? Over a year ago they put out the info that we would be able to pay the water bill online in about 7 months. I'm still waiting.... Since they went to the new billing, my bill has went up about $7.00... Oh yeah, how does this new billing move Meridian toward going green?
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