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Sewer flat rate makes it easy to overcharge

Published: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST

I recently found out that I’ve been overcharged by the city of Rock Falls on the so-called “flat rate” for sewer use for at least 14 years.

Back 14 years ago, I went in and informed them my wife and I were responsible for the city bill now; nobody asked how many people lived at our address, so what were they basing the “flat rate” on? It seems the rate is based on how many people live at an address.

About the time the clerk at city hall told me they started the new “flat rate,” it was just my wife and her daughter, which should be $62.90 a month “flat rate.” When we married and I became a resident here, it was just the two of us; her daughter was gone by then. Our “flat rate” should have been $62.90. But their records are wrong, saying three people lived here. The only answer I can come up with is somebody entered it wrong. So in 23 years, we’ve been overcharged about $2,500.

Do they bother to tell anyone that as the number of people living at a residence changes, you need to go in and tell them? No, it’s just too good a source of income to do that. 

So, if you’re on a private well, until next April, when they will force you to go on city water, your “flat rate” sewer bill should be $62.90 a month if there are only two of you. If you’re paying more, go in and tell them they’re overcharging you. Three people should be paying $71.80 a month for your “flat rate” sewer bill and so on.

If you have five or more living at your residence and are paying for two, keep your mouth shut and be happy. I already paid for one of your extra people.

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