Buckeye residents facing sky high water bills threaten legal action

Buckeye residents facing sky high water bills threaten legal action

Water woes, sky high water bills, some more than a thousand bucks.

More than 100 Buckeye homeowners are dealing with those bills and some of them are now threatening legal action.

They want answers and the 12 News Verify team is trying to help them figure out what's going on.

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The city manager is talking about possible changes on the way, but that's not stopping dozens of people who live in Buckeye from threatening legal action.

“Come on, we all know we have not used this much water,” said Jeff Hancock, who lives in Buckeye. “If we all had the leaks that they are saying we had, Buckeye would be under water."

A group of ticked off Buckeye homeowners gathered at the City of Buckeye Aquatic Center Sunday for another meeting to express their frustrations over sky-rocketing water bills.

"Our bill went from $129 to $400-plus and then I got them to credit it to $180," Hancock said.

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Hancock says he had his landscaping and pool auto-fill turned off, but his next bill was even higher.

“It would've been even higher,” he said. “It would have been over $600, if they wouldn't have given me a $180 credit."

Bianca Taylor shared the same concerns.

“My husband and I received a water bill for $800 and our meter is not even working," Taylor said. Taylor has had landscapers and plumbers come out, telling them they don’t have a leak.

“Right now my husband is in contact with attorneys," Taylor said. Taylor is one of many saying they can prove they don't have a leak and have no idea why their consumption is so high.

"We have to get a stop to this," said Hancock.

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"We understand their concern, their frustrated," said Roger Klingler, who has been the interim city manager in Buckeye since July. In a one-on-one interview with 12 News, he said the city wants to work with anyone having an issue.

"We feel for them and we hear them and we want to talk to them,” Klingler said. “We want to contact us."

Klingler says the city wants residents to have lower bills and he doesn't want to see any water wasted.

Klingler said a short-term answer includes putting a hotline in place and putting residents in contact with a person "specifically responsible."

In the long term – Klinger says they want to replace the analog meters with digital meters, so homeowners can follow how much water they're using electronically, day by day, gallon by gallon.

"We think technology will really help us to when we get that all in place," Klingler said.

The city is working on having that replaced this fiscal year which ends in June, so June 30th that should be in place.

Those dealing with the astronomical bills are planning a peaceful protest at 8 a.m. Monday morning at city hall. They also plan to attend the next meeting at city hall next Tuesday.

The 12 News Verify team will stay on top of the story for you.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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