More than 100 Rotterdam residents see rising sewer bill – The Daily Gazette


Rotterdam city officials are struggling to understand why the sewer bills of more than 100 residents have skyrocketed this year.

When Steve Reuter opened his bill this week, he was shocked to see that it had gone up almost 800% for sewer costs. Last year he paid $ 234, he said. This year, his sewer bill was about $ 2,100. He lives in Sewer District 2.

“I almost had a heart attack,” said the Pansy Street resident.

Her daughter who lives on Westcott Road has not seen an increase.

Dan Linsay, also a resident of Sewer District 2, has also seen an increase. Last year he paid $ 262. This year his bill is 1,202, he said.

“For the life of us, we couldn’t understand why,” he said.

And he is not happy with it.

“I can’t tell you how angry I am with the way things are going in this city,” he said. “This is just another layer. “

Former finance director Elizabeth Greenwood said there was some sort of confusion with billing.

At the Dec. 8 city council meeting, before the council passed the budget, she told the public that the way the city tracks water and sewer funds has changed in the budget and will change on tax bills.

“The real cost of things hasn’t changed, it’s purely a methodology in terms of accounting that we just literally separate all of these lines in the budget to make sure we count the taxed part as taxed and the utility cost. », She declared during this meeting.

She said she offered to help the new administration with its transition, but was told her services were no longer needed.

To complicate matters, her post has yet to be filled and neither has the post of director of the Department of Public Works, said board member Samantha Miller-Herrera.

“They haven’t found a finance or DPW replacement yet, so there’s really no one there to answer questions that are important to residents,” Miller-Herrera said.

Supervisor Mollie Collins said the city is currently interviewing for a new comptroller, instead of a finance manager, and evaluating all options related to a director for the public works department.

Greenwood said she suspected, but had no way of being sure, that there was a problem with the software. Miller-Herrera told resident Victor Murdock via email that there had been some sort of error. But what exactly the error is is not yet known.

“The only change we allowed was the allocation of lines for billing,” she said. “There has been no change in the number of units billed and debt service has been presented in the budget showing a slight decrease in this district.”

She said there might have been a coding error on the invoices.

“The assessor’s office, which provides this information, has taken on new software,” she said.

Either way, Reuter has said he has no intention of paying his bill, even though he knows at least one other person on his street has.

Lindsay said he planned to pay because he feared the consequences if he didn’t.

Fortunately, he can afford it, he said, noting that others might not be able to.

“We’re not well off at all, but thank goodness we have the money,” he said.

Collins said he took down the names and number of people who called and said he was affected. Once more information becomes known, she said her office will get back to people.

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