Help for man’s water woes

Help for man’s water woes
December 31
00:00 2014
(pictured above: Randall Lindsay)

A local resident is breathing a sigh of relief after the city has decided to drop $2,659.45 off of his water bill. Randall Lindsay was facing a $3,259.45 water bill in November and was about to have his service disrupted.

“It felt real good to have it taken care of. I ain’t never had no water like that,” said Lindsay, who lives on a $721 monthly disability check.

The Chronicle reported the problem that the New Hope Manor resident was facing in November, just days before his water service was to be terminated.

Lindsay began receiving exorbitant water bills in August. His social worker, Debborah Lindsay (no relation), jumped into action, contacting city officials and Lindsay’s landlord for assistance and answers. Co-property owner Nathan Tabor said the high bills were the result of the city’s faulty meters. Anthony Baker, an assistant city attorney who handles risk management for the city, said the city believed the leak was on the property side.

After the initial story, the city installed an automated meter reader, according to Baker, to record water consumption in 15-minute increments, 24 hours a day in Lindsay’s apartment.



“It basically stores the data so that we can pull it and not only see how much total consumption is being used – a normal reader does that – but look at when it’s being used,” Baker said.

A definitive cause of the high bills has not been provided, though Baker says some toilet fixtures were replaced after an inspection found a leaky toilet.

“After that was done, the meter began to immediately read levels that we expect for an apartment that size with one bathroom,” he said. “The consumption levels dropped dramatically.”

He said the department read the meter three more times over the next two weeks to confirm the readings. Those readings led the city to drop the cost of the bill. Tabor told The Chronicle via email that the city’s decision to reduce the bill was a “kind gesture.”

After the reduction, Lindsay still owed about $600. He says much more of the bill amount should have been forgiven.

“It should have been much lower,” he said.

His friend and live-in caregiver Leroy Johnson said that when he heard about the price of the water bill he was thinking something had to be wrong.

“I think it’s a blessing that we got it down to what it is. It was ridiculous that it was where it was; however, I feel that it should have been lower because it wasn’t really our fault that it (the water) was running like that,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he and Lindsay plan to take care of the remaining balance over time. All in all, Johnson and Lindsay give the city high marks.

Leroy Johnson with Randall Lindsay.

Leroy Johnson with Randall Lindsay.

“It seemed like the city was trying to do what they had to do on their part. To me, it seemed like the landlord was trying to make excuses and blame everybody but himself for the situation instead,” said Johnson, who said he and Lindsay are considering moving.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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