Water rates have some residents drowning

Richmond’s water and sewer line systems are old, worn down and some think expensive.
Richmond Third Ward Candidate Terrie Lee Stanley addressed the Richmond City Council on Wednesday night to make a plea on behalf of residents.
Stanley said she had been contacted by 13 residents just in one day about high water bills.
“I know you have heard it over and over, but they can’t do it,” she said. “They cannot pay their water bills.”
Combining the 13 bills amounted to more than $3,800, according to Stanley.
Stanley said her bill this past month was $187 for her and her husband. She went on and listed several other residents bills including a 93-year-old woman who had a $203 bill.
“She’s 93 years old,” Stanley said. “She’s paid her dues in life. She should not have to worry every night.”
Stanley said the woman had her house checked and found no leaks; however, City Collector Marilyn O’Dell said differently. She said she spoke to the woman’s daughter and was told there was a toilet that was leaking.
Stanley said Joyce’s Resturant had a water bill that was more than $1,400. O’Dell said the eatery didn’t pay last month’s bill and it reflects two months.
Stanley said with the state of the economy, something has to be done to address the issue.
She pointed to Henkel Inc. who laid off workers in December and will go to a reduced hours schedule in the next few weeks. She said those people will need the help the most.
“People are losing their jobs,” she said. “People are cutting back. They just can’t do it.”

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