Action 9: Gastonia residents upset over water bill after meter reader mistake

GASTONIA, N.C. — Several residents in Gastonia are unhappy after their water and sewer bills recently increased.

Joe Clark said his bill doubled. He checked his neighborhood’s Facebook page and learned that he wasn’t alone. That’s when he decided to contact Action 9.

Tracy McDonald said her bill was 10 times higher than what she’s normally charged. She contacted Action 9 as well.

“I am not running a car wash. I live in a house,” she said. “I don’t understand it.”

McDonald was so concerned that she hired a plumber to check for leaks. That cost her more money.

Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke contacted officials with the city of Gastonia. He was told a worker “made a mistake reading utility meters” for November, December, and some in January.

According to city officials, most residents weren’t charged enough for those months. To make up the difference, charges on the latest bill had to be adjusted.

The city stated it would be contacting the customers that were impacted. An official also said payment plans would be available.

“I feel I’m being robbed. It wasn’t my mistake,” Clark said.

“The city has to take some sort of responsibility for what one of their employees did and not push everything to the consumer,” customer Chuck Denham said. “It at least needs to be where some percentage that’s fair is taken on by the city.”

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