Parma locals spark debate about water, electric bill costs

Published: Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 9, 2014 at 8:43 PM CDT
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Audriana Mims says it’s costing her family more not only on her electric bill but also her...
Audriana Mims says it’s costing her family more not only on her electric bill but also her water bill.

PARMA, MO (KFVS) - Higher water bills and extra charges on electric bills are things some people in Parma, Missouri say they're dealing with lately.

They say when they try to voice their concerns to city officials, they are not being heard. However, Parma Mayor Randall Ramsey said his door is always open for people who want to voice their concerns.

Audriana Mims said she has a charge on her electric bill that she's never noticed before.

"What are they charging us for? We haven't gotten a letter in the mail telling us that they added a new charge to our Ameren UE or anything," Mims said. "It's 9.49 dollars. What is that for?"

She says it's costing her family more not only on her electric bill but also her water bill.

"One month [it would be] about 60 dollars then the next month [it would be] almost 80."

Michael Sanders said he's also experienced higher water charges.

"This month alone it went from that to 170 dollars," Sanders said.

However, city officials say they haven't raised water rates. Mayor Ramsey said higher costs could be due to increased usage or water leaks.

"If anybody has an unusual water bill, we double check our meter readings, we check to see if there are leaks for them," Mayor Ramsey said.

He said the average water cost in Parma is around the same as other heartland cities.

"Cape Girardeau is 53.24 dollars," Mayor Ramsey said. "We are 53.05 dollars."

He said, as for the charge on the electric bill, that's normal.

"That's a franchise tax and that's always been there," Ramsey said.

Still, Mayor Ramsey said if people have concerns, let him know.

"I'm here every day, they can come in my office. My door is open. Plenty of people know how to find me," Mayor Ramsey said.

However, Sanders said he's tried talking with city workers and had no luck.

"No one had any answers," Sanders said.

Mayor Ramsey said residents are also encouraged to bring up concerns at city meetings and they'll try to help.

"We are doing the best we can do. We just can't do any better but we work hard at it," Mayor Ramsey said.

Mims said she went to the council meeting on Tuesday night but found out it was canceled. The mayor said that's because there weren't enough board members who could attend due to other obligations.

Otherwise, though, he said meetings are the second Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m.

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