Toledo Talk

Water Bill Question

Just got our water bill and it's 5 times the amount of our last bill!! It says it's from an estimated reading, and I'm wondering on what the estimate was based.

We used a lot of water during the same period last summer because of establishing a new lawn and garden.

Does anyone have any experience in refuting a water bill?

created by Starr15 on Aug 25, 2013 at 08:56:10 pm     Comments: 22

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If its estimated, call them and have them come and do an actual reading.
http://toledo.oh.gov/Departments/Public-Utilities/Div-Water-Distribution

posted by hunkytownsausage on Aug 25, 2013 at 09:17:31 pm     #  

Just got my water bill and it's around $273. Jeez, it doesn't seem that long ago it was a bit over $100.

posted by JeepMaker on Aug 26, 2013 at 09:33:58 am     #   1 person liked this

JeepMaker posted at 09:33:58 AM on Aug 26, 2013:

Just got my water bill and it's around $273. Jeez, it doesn't seem that long ago it was a bit over $100.

It's almost like they slipped another $600-700 per year in taxes on to you by padding the water/sewer bill with every other thing, like trash fees.

posted by justread on Aug 26, 2013 at 12:15:24 pm     #   2 people liked this

Mine is still sitting at about $130, which is a VAST improvement over what it was a year ago. We had a "silent leak" inside the basement toilet. Couldn't see it. Couldn't hear it. But the water company guy had ruled out everything else, so we turned it off. Sure enough, that was it.

Before that fix, we were being billed over $350 for three months.

posted by gamegrrl on Aug 26, 2013 at 02:26:05 pm     #  

I was shocked that mine stayed around 140 this time around.

posted by stooks on Aug 26, 2013 at 03:58:47 pm     #  

Decided to revive an old thread. My bill went up $8 this quarter with the same usage. Did they slip another increase in on us or was this a preplanned unlubed insertion?

posted by Erin on May 13, 2017 at 06:43:33 pm     #  

Yeah, the rates went up almost 15% and they are going to increase again in 2018. It's to pay for upgrades. I guess it's not bad enough to have the highest city taxes and electric rates in the states, they also want Toledo to have the highest water rates as well.

posted by jamesteroh on May 13, 2017 at 09:53:12 pm     #   1 person liked this

And did they put a sunset clause in the rate increase legislation so they would come back down to a maintaining level after the upgrades?

I almost typed that without laughing.....

I should have asked if there was an investigation as to where the money went for the last 7 decades that should have been used to maintain and upgrade the water plant.....

Look at me trying to be a comedian.

posted by Erin on May 14, 2017 at 12:16:48 am     #   7 people liked this

No chance Erin...

1. I would like to see an independent, outside audit of the water company. I would be VERY curious how many unpaid bills, employees, etc. there are.

2. I would be interested in seeing the cost benefits if the water company was privatized.

posted by Dappling2 on May 14, 2017 at 07:06:35 pm     #   3 people liked this

No chance Erin...

1. I would like to see an independent, outside audit of the water company. I would be VERY curious how many unpaid bills, employees, etc. there are.

2. I would be interested in seeing the cost benefits if the water company was privatized.

posted by Dappling2 on May 14, 2017 at 07:06:36 pm     #   2 people liked this

I go to the 5/3rd branch at the Ohio Building where the water company is two to three times a day. They could cut seventy percent of their payroll and if the remaining employees were to work as hard as they would have to in the private industry they would still be overstaffed.

posted by classylady on May 15, 2017 at 12:34:09 pm     #   1 person liked this

I wonder if Mike Bell's old vice mayor is still working in the water dept.? Bell sent him there, rather than fire him, after he screwed the pooch on Southwick when he promoted a con man turning it into a water park.

posted by Erin on May 15, 2017 at 09:45:15 pm     #  

Tom Carothers retired from the water department either right before or right after Collins took office. He figured Collins would fire him and I can't remember if he left right before Collins got sworn in or if he announced his retirement before and actually left a couple weeks after Collins was sworn in.

It's my understanding the water department is under a different budget than the other city departments so they can create jobs for the people that mess up at One Government Center or create jobs as favors. Unfortunately the citizens of Toledo pay for the unnecessary positions with higher water rates. Unlike the private sector where if you screw up you get the ax, with the city of Toledo if you screw up and know the right people you get moved to the water department and not only do you still have your job, in a lot of cases you get a huge raise.

One of the heads of the water department Ed Moore is a great example. He doesn't even have a college degree. His wife is a University employee and he was getting free tuition as an employee benefit. He "accidentally" turned in a tuition bill for reimbursement. If one is lucky enough to have a job with tuition reimbursement and tried that they would get fired and possibly prosecuted. Instead the City promotes him to a head of the water department making six figures a year with no degree. Tom Carothers messed up as Vice Mayor and instead of getting the ax the water department created a new six figure a year job.

It's time to privatize the water department. A lot of jobs could be eliminated there as well by having a website that allows customers to do things such as pay bills online

posted by classylady on May 15, 2017 at 10:20:12 pm     #   2 people liked this

If we end up with a regional water authority and a new plant, does all this crap go away? I can't see any of the suburbs going into any new agreement with Toledo without a provision to put an end to Club Cronyism.

posted by JoeyGee on May 15, 2017 at 10:38:16 pm     #  

classylady posted at 10:20:12 PM on May 15, 2017:

Tom Carothers retired from the water department either right before or right after Collins took office. He figured Collins would fire him and I can't remember if he left right before Collins got sworn in or if he announced his retirement before and actually left a couple weeks after Collins was sworn in.

It's my understanding the water department is under a different budget than the other city departments so they can create jobs for the people that mess up at One Government Center or create jobs as favors. Unfortunately the citizens of Toledo pay for the unnecessary positions with higher water rates. Unlike the private sector where if you screw up you get the ax, with the city of Toledo if you screw up and know the right people you get moved to the water department and not only do you still have your job, in a lot of cases you get a huge raise.

One of the heads of the water department Ed Moore is a great example. He doesn't even have a college degree. His wife is a University employee and he was getting free tuition as an employee benefit. He "accidentally" turned in a tuition bill for reimbursement. If one is lucky enough to have a job with tuition reimbursement and tried that they would get fired and possibly prosecuted. Instead the City promotes him to a head of the water department making six figures a year with no degree. Tom Carothers messed up as Vice Mayor and instead of getting the ax the water department created a new six figure a year job.

It's time to privatize the water department. A lot of jobs could be eliminated there as well by having a website that allows customers to do things such as pay bills online

"he doesn't even have a college degree."

Right. He has two.
I agree with your frustration and most of your opinion on the Ed Moore tuition reimbursement thing, but in all fairness, the guy has a Bachelors in Science and a Masters in Business Administration. You can have your own opinion, but not your own set of facts.

posted by justread on May 16, 2017 at 06:18:33 am     #   2 people liked this

I thought when he pulled the tuition stunt there was a big stink because that job required an engineering degree and he didn't have one.

Even if he has three PhD degrees his ass should have been fired for that stunt. That alone proves he isn't a good steward of the taxpayers dollars and can't be trusted.

posted by classylady on May 16, 2017 at 09:32:20 am     #  

Facts. Hmmph. We have no need for such godless wizardry here, justread.

posted by JoeyGee on May 16, 2017 at 09:48:58 am     #  

classylady posted at 09:32:20 AM on May 16, 2017:

I thought when he pulled the tuition stunt there was a big stink because that job required an engineering degree and he didn't have one.

Even if he has three PhD degrees his ass should have been fired for that stunt. That alone proves he isn't a good steward of the taxpayers dollars and can't be trusted.

His LinkedIn is public if you want to research any other assertions of fact regarding his qualifications and education.

Whether or not he should have been fired for that stunt? Depends on facts I am not privy to. Maybe he should have. It sure sounded bad on face. Yet he wasn't.
As far as city workers go, maybe he got promoted for a reason. He is director of public utilities. His bachelors is in construction engineering technologies, then there is the MBA he got while working. I don't know this guy, but in the context of the rich landscape of protected incompetence in the city, Ed Moore may be one of the harder working, smarter ones. I am not sure he is the one I would fire first. I'd take a meeting with him first and see what he has to say.

posted by justread on May 16, 2017 at 10:38:00 am     #  

It's my understanding the water department is under a different budget than the other city departments

The Water Department is what is often called an enterprise fund - it's a department that has its own source of revenue and expenses, and may receive revenue from non-citizens, which is all of the non-Toledo water customers in this case. Under law, Toledo can not make a profit from the water department that would subsidize services for Toledo residents. But it can pay for all of the incompetent, but too-hard-to-fire employees that are shuffled to it.

If we end up with a regional water authority and a new plant, does all this crap go away? I can't see any of the suburbs going into any new agreement with Toledo without a provision to put an end to Club Cronyism.)

Maybe, maybe not. I can see Toledo insisting that it's employees be protected in any agreement to form a regional water authority. Depends how big of a d!@k the 'burbs want to be or think they can get away with.

posted by MsArcher on May 16, 2017 at 01:13:44 pm     #   1 person liked this

It's interesting that "facts" and the "water department" appear in the same discussion.

posted by jr on May 16, 2017 at 01:31:30 pm     #   3 people liked this

Aren't different rates charged to non-Toledo residents by geographical area or governmental entity? Such as Sylvania residents have a contracted rate which differs from Springfield Township or Maumee? And all have higher rates than City of Toledo residents Pay?

posted by holland on May 16, 2017 at 06:58:47 pm     #  

holland posted at 06:58:47 PM on May 16, 2017:

Aren't different rates charged to non-Toledo residents by geographical area or governmental entity? Such as Sylvania residents have a contracted rate which differs from Springfield Township or Maumee? And all have higher rates than City of Toledo residents Pay?

There are different rates that may subsidize water rates for toledo residents but not other services. All of the water revenue has to stay in the water department.

posted by MsArcher on May 17, 2017 at 06:58:14 am     #