Accusations of price gauging, bad service, and poor water quality are boiling over in one Pooler neighborhood. Residents are pleading to be rescued from a private water company. Since November, they've seen two rate hikes, some paying as much as triple their normal rate. Now they're looking to the city for help.
Garden acres resident Louise Roberson says residents only have one choice for service, Garden Acres Utility. "My bill went from $48 to $90 to $120, just that quick," she said.
Rates are getting jacked up and neighbors are fuming about how bad the water and service quality is. Roberson's house is next door to the main septic tank. She claims the company has dumped waste right in her yard. "It would have condoms and pads and that good stuff in it," she said.
But for Roberson and her neighbors, there are other problems. When the water backs up, sewage ends up in the tubs and sand and dirt is in their toilets. Neighbors also say the water has a funky odor. That's only when the water is not shut off without warning.
So Roberson took her concerns to Pooler City Hall, where she had plenty of company. Monday night, more than a hundred Garden Acres residents asked the city to take over their water and sewer service.
Mayor Buddy Carter says the whole situation stinks. "They're looking to the city for help, but at this time we're unsure of what we can do," he said.
While the city ponders flushing the residents request, taxpayers are left scratching their heads. "We pay taxes," said Roberson. "What are we paying taxes to the city for?"
Pooler has now decided to form a committee of city officials and representatives from Garden Acres. Their goal will be to find out what the next step should be and what the city can do. If the city can't do anything, Garden Acres residents plan on taking their concerns to the State of Georgia.