County to check for overcharges of sewer bills of Artesian Water customers

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon has  ordered a comprehensive assessment of all County sewer bills to check for inaccuracies. In addition an email address was set up for customers who suspect excessive sewer charges.

The Gordon administration said the issues stemmed from Artesian Water’s billing conversation during the administration of County Executive Paul Clark.

 We’re a team here,” County Executive Gordon told County Auditor Bob Wasserbach at a meeting held Monday, according to a release. “We’ll address this and do better going forward. If anyone was over billed, we’ll make them whole.”

A News Journal story suggested that  county staff was slow to react to the situation and handled complaints as they arose. 

County sewer bills are based on the water consumption. The county purchases data from the local water companies in order to calculate bills. Most water companies bill customers on a quarterly basis.

Wasserbach initiated the audit because Artesian, which has 70,000 customers, went from a quarterly billing cycle to a monthly cycle. Artesian serves Bear, Hockessin and other areas in the county.

 According to a release, Gordon and Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi took the preliminary audit seriously and directed Chief Financial Officer Mike Coupe to have the Department of Finance recalculate sewer bills.

As part of that process, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Jim McDonald and Accounting and Fiscal Managers Ed Milowicki and Denny Harman met with top Artesian officials on Monday to determine how to reexamine water meter data.

 At that meeting, it was agreed that New Castle County would recalculate the water data, and McDonald assigned that task to Information Systems Manager Tom Peralta, the release stated.

 Grimaldi said he believes that the recalculated sewer bills would be ready within three weeks.

 Anyone with questions about his sewer bill can write to a special email address, sewerhelp@nccde.org.

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