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Troxclair still on warpath over water bills

Friday, October 27, 2017 by Jo Clifton

In response to the recent spate of complaints about unexplained spikes in her constituents’ water bills, City Council Member Ellen Troxclair says she is going to request that City Auditor Corrie Stokes do a follow-up review of a previous audit done on utility bills. Troxclair discussed the idea with Stokes at Wednesday’s Audit and Finance Committee meeting and indicated that she would be looking for another Council member to sponsor the special request. Austin Energy and its contractor that reads meters will be under scrutiny, as opposed to the Austin Water Utility, which provides the water but does not read the meters. Troxclair said she wants to find out whether the meter reading company is providing accurate readings, as promised in its contract. The District 8 Council member also put out a press release this week explaining that she intends to bring a resolution to the Nov. 9 Council meeting that would increase the amount a water utility customer could recover if a bill is found to be inaccurate. Under the current program, if a customer qualifies for a bill adjustment, they are eligible to receive about a 70 percent reduction in the “overage” part of their bill. The overage is the amount above the customer’s average bill for that same month for the last two years. Troxclair hopes to convince her colleagues to allow for a 100 percent refund of the overage.

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