Home­own­ers hit with high stormwa­ter bills

Soft­ware glitch blamed for er­rors

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Oswald

Cov­ing­ton home­own­ers sur­prised by their un­usu­ally high stormwa­ter util­ity bills this month are ad­vised to call the Cov­ing­ton City Hall.

Ac­cord­ing to Bobby John­son, sys­tem in­for­ma­tion man­ager for the city of Cov­ing­ton, of the 5,400 stormwa­ter bills sent out this month ap­prox­i­mately 3,000 bills were af­fected by a soft­ware glitch which did not fac­tor in ear­lier paid cred­its to ac­counts.

Home­own­ers who elected to pay half of their yearly stormwa­ter util­ity bill in July would not have seen the credit added to their ac­count in Novem­ber. John­son said this soft­ware glitch has since been cor­rected.

The glitch was in the re­port writer which gen­er­ates a print­out of the bill, not on the city’s data­base which keeps a record of all stormwa­ter ac­counts John- son said. Home­own­ers who chose to wait un­til Novem­ber to pay their full stormwa­ter bill were not af­fected by the billing er­ror.

Af­ter pre­vi­ously con­tract­ing with an­other com­pany for the billing ser­vice, John­son said the city chose to bring that ser­vice in-house this year with a new com­puter ap­pli­ca­tion.

“The first state­ment we sent out with this cus­tom ap­pli­ca­tion we had writ­ten in July was cor­rect,” John­son said.

Cus­tomers can come to Cov­ing­ton City Hall and re­ceive a cor­rected stormwa­ter bill. If they un­know­ingly paid the full amount of Novem­ber’s bill af­ter al­ready pay­ing in July, John­son said they will re­ceive a credit to their ac­count which will be re­flected in their 2008 stormwa­ter bill.

“The next time we bill which will be in July of next year a credit will be de­ducted from their ac­count at that time,” John­son said.

Cus­tomers with ques­tions on their stormwa­ter bills are ad­vised to call Cov­ing­ton cus­tomer ser­vice at (770) 385-2000.

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