Jackson residents shocked over high utility bills - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Jackson residents shocked over high utility bills

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) -

"It was extremely high," said Sara Smith of Jackson.

Smith is just one of the people in Jackson calling city hall to question the sudden jump in their electric, water, and sewer bill.

"We haven't had one over $150, so for us to get a $752 dollar bill, it's a lot," said Smith.

James Roach, the Jackson City Administrator said the meter reader estimated customer use in June and July, then actually read the meters in August.

"The estimates were low, and the actual readings as a result ended up being high," said Roach.

He said the estimates were about half of the actual usage, so the usage not accounted for in June and July, were tacked on to the August bill.

"This combined with the historic drought and heat wave amplified the difference between the low readings the previous couple of months and then the current high reading," said Roach.

Smith said when the less expensive previous bills came in, she didn't notice.

"We haven't been here a year yet, so we have no previous years to compare it to," said Smith.

Roach said the city will work with customers to spread out the cost over the next few months.

"When you get your bills you're used to getting a $150 bill or whatever, and it's $400 or something, that's a surprise, a shock that the customers shouldn't have to deal with," said Roach.

"They should have sent out a courtesy letter letting all of us know and so we could all prepare ourselves for a high bill," said Smith.

Smith said she just wanted a warning.

"Everybody would have been able to prepare themselves by not going out to eat or budgeting for an entire month now," said Smith.

Now, she's stuck with a bill she could have already paid in previous months.

"Yes we are going to budget, so we don't go out to eat as much, but it would have been our bill for the past couple months you know a higher, but we would not have gone out to eat as much as we had, or gotten luxuries," said Smith.

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