Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Made-up water bills. Baltimore homeowners are furious as an audit uncovers lazy meter readers not doing their jobs.
Kai Jackson explains what the city is doing about the problem.
Residents are fuming over the idea of meter readers being dishonest on the job.
The Department of Public Works says this case of false meter readings started in April 2011. They say two new employees weren’t doing their jobs and made up meter readings without actually looking at the gauges.
“They were just going along writing numbers, apparently adding this many units, not doing their jobs and the bills came out low,” said Kurt Kocher, Department of Public Works.
DPW says once the agency had a chance to audit the workers, they discovered the problem and determined the bills for many homeowners were actually higher.
“They should be terminated. That’s messin’ with somebody’s hard-working money,” said Troy Williams, who lives in East Baltimore.
DPW says it happened in a number of areas around the city, including Ednor Gardens in East Baltimore. City residents are fuming that an employee’s malfeasance could force homeowners to pay a higher bill.
Apparently there have been reports of large water bills in the Southwest Baltimore neighborhood of Morrell Park. The Department of Public Works is investigating.
“There’s a lot of elderly people who can’t pay the bill, so by them estimating it, it makes it higher. How they gonna pay it?” said Becky Wheeler. “I think they should be fired or take it outta their paycheck.”
DPW says there were four people in their call center for questions and complaints about meters. There are now 15 people.