City of Savannah working to fix water bill issues

City of Savannah working to fix water bill issues

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Without catching up on billing, water, sewer and sanitation, the City of Savannah won't catch up on revenue.

Through July, the city did actually close the gap on billing by about $5 million compared to June, but they're still billing about $10 million less than they did this time last year.

As far as revenue realized by the bills issued, the city is still about $16 million behind.

"My big concern is are we going to end the year $16-$30 million in debt. I have been told no that this will all balance out. But, I haven't seen any indications of that," said District 4 Alderman Julian Miller.

Both Miller and Mayor Eddie DeLoach had lots of questions for staff during Thursday's presentation and voiced concern.

"We made a mistake, we admitted the mistake, it's time to move on past that mistake and get on the subject of billing forward, going forward. And that's just, that's what we need to do," said Mayor DeLoach.

"The reality is, I think what a lot of council is reacting to is, we haven't made much progress enclosing the revenue gap. The amount of money coming in. What we have closed is the billing gap," said Bret Bell, City of Savannah.

Bell says the staff is confident that the $16 million deficit will be erased by the end of the year, and by the next meeting even, city council will see much better numbers.

"Next month, or August, when we report back to council in September, we should have a big revenue windfall coming in. It should be realized. Because all those bills went out," said Bell.

As the city works to catch up, customers will see in some cases higher bills than the first six months of the year, when bills were lower than they should have been.

Alderman Miller says he is concerned how that affects residents on a fixed income.

If you have any questions about your water bill, give the City of Savannah's Water Service department a call at 912.651.6465.

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