Water bills spike for some Colbert customers - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Water bills spike for some Colbert customers

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COLBERT -- Cold temperatures usually make for higher utility bills but the bill for one Colbert woman has quadrupled in the past few months and she says she doesn't know why.

When Wanda Williams sat down at her kitchen table to pay bills on Friday, she says she was shocked to see the amount the city of Colbert says she owes for utilities.

"When I opening it I was devastated," William said.

Her utility bill covers water, sewer, trash, animal control and an improvement fund.

She says it typically runs about $65. In November, that amount spiked to $160. Then, her December bill shows the cost of water and sewer doubled causing her utility bill to increase again, this time to $288.

"We don't have any leaks," Williams said. "We don't have any reasoning. We haven't done anything different with the water."

Calvin Patterson also lives in Colbert and says his utility bill has increased from $60 to $100.

"When you go down there and complain about it, it seems to go higher and higher every time you complain about it," Patterson said.

Both say they've contacted the city of Colbert, but still don't know why their rates went up, in a city that's been plagued my water problems for years.

More recently, in September, classes at Colbert schools had to be canceled because of a lack of water. In December, the city had to shut off water to some customers saying it had to do with a problem with a well.

We contacted the city of Colbert but our calls and email have not been returned.

"They told me I'd have to pay it by the tenth or they're going to shut it off."

Williams, meantime, says she and her mother – with whom she lives -- are on a fixed income and can't afford a nearly $300 utility bill each month.

But, she also feels, she shouldn't have to until she understands why she's suddenly being asked to pay so much more.

"If I pay this, they're going to run it like that on a monthly basis, and that's really robbery, highway robbery because there's no reason for that," Williams said.