The city of Hampton is working hard to correct an issue many residents found in their mailboxes at the beginning of the month. Some in the Bradford County city received a hefty utility bill– with some more than 100 times what people usually pay.
Amy Davis, a former Hampton city clerk, took to social media to express frustration about the bills, some of which reached four figures.
“You never send a $10,000 water bill,” said Davis. “Common sense says don’t mail a $10,000 water bill to a customer who’s regular bill is $28 a month.”
The former Hampton city clerk said she’s received at least six complaints from residents who received bills ranging anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000. Hampton City Council Chair Dan Williams said it was a common mistake that was overlooked after reading city water meters.
“You had meter readings that last month were maybe 41111, and then this month it was 041111,” said Williams. “The zero should have been dropped and it should’ve maintained the same numbers.”
Williams said residents can still come in to Hampton City Hall to receive a credit on their initial water bill.
But Davis says the correction should’ve been run differently. Last year the city was almost dissolved by the state following an audit that revealed more than 30 violations at the federal, state and local level.
“These records are going to be audited by a financial auditor and an operational auditor. And what is the excuse that they’re going to use to (tell) the auditor when they run either the pre-bill or final billing, and it’s several hundred thousand dollars in revenue that doesn’t exist,” said Davis. “The correct thing to have done was to have back that out and rerun the bills.”