NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Tens of thousands of homeowners are furious after learning their water bills will be going up 4% in January.
The increase comes after months of unusually high water bills already due to a rate increase.
News4 has been following this issue for months.
For Deena Daniels, her bills are even more now in the winter than they were this summer.
“I honestly thought it must be a typo. Our October bill was more than $1,100 and I thought there’s no way that could be accurate,” said Daniels.
Officials with Metro Water Services said there’s no mistake with the bill and customers like Daniels are seeing the effects of a new rate structure Nashville city leaders voted on.
However, homeowners started receiving a postcard in the mail last week letting them know their bills would be increasing by 4% regardless of how much water they use.
Metro Councilmember Freddie O’Connell, who represents District 19, said the increase is part of a multi-year plan to make up for lost revenue since the city hasn’t increased water rates in nearly a decade.
O’Connell said he knew the water bills were going up when he voted for the increase.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say to some homeowner in Green Hills I knew exactly what their rates were going to be, but I did know bills were going up,” said O’Connell.
He blames Metro Water’s lack of communication on the increase, saying Metro Council had no idea how much trouble the department was in financially.
O’Connell said he’s currently in talks with other city leaders to try and give people some sort of relief.
“Information was withheld from me that meant we couldn’t make better decisions sooner,” said O’Connell.
Daniels hopes something can change soon so homeowners such as herself can have some relief.
“Let’s give everybody a little bit of a break. It’s been a really tough time, so let’s rethink this and maybe look at it again after the first of the year instead of putting one more thing on top of people in 2020,” said Daniels.