9± times too much School bill cut af­ter billing er­ror

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Liam But­ter­worth liam. but­ter­worth@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A TOWNSVILLE school has had their util­i­ties bill slashed af­ter be­ing charged 93 times too much.

The school was granted a trade waste li­cence by the Townsville City Coun­cil in Au­gust last year and the next month re­ceived a bill of $ 6024.30 for the Septem­ber quar­ter.

The school, whose name coun­cil has kept con­fi­den­tial, queried the bill and it was amended to $ 64.50 af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion showed the school tuck­shop was the only source of trade waste.

A coun­cil spokesman has put the mat­ter down to a stan­dard cal­cu­la­tion which was based on the school’s to­tal wa­ter con­sump­tion.

‘‘ Trade waste charges are cal­cu­lated on the ba­sis of wa­ter con­sump­tion at the l i c e n s e d p r e mi s e s , ’ ’ t h e spokesman said.

‘‘ The school’s kitchen was li­censed for trade waste in Au­gust last year.

‘‘ In their first util­i­ties bill they were charged on the school’s gen­eral con­sump­tion rather than just the us­age in the kitchen.’’

The re­quest was dis­cussed in con­fi­den­tial busi­ness at the last full coun­cil meet­ing and a rec­om­men­da­tion was passed t o al­low t he bill re­duc­tion.

The school has now been given three months to in­stall a sep­a­rate wa­ter con­sump­tion me­ter at the tuck­shop to en­sure the mis­cal­cu­la­tion doesn’t oc­cur again.

A lower bill will be granted for one ad­di­tional quar­ter un­til the con­sump­tion me­ter is in­stalled.

‘‘ The coun­cil has agreed to vary the charges, and has re­quested the school in­stall a sep­a­rate me­ter for the tuck­shop to pro­vide ac­cu­rate read­ings for fu­ture charges,’’ the spokesman said.

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