CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — We have a new Troubleshooters report tonight, about a familiar topic. A high water bill.
A local man says he's been without water service at his home since October last year.
More than 5 months.
The city utility department gives their side of this story as well,
Marco Gonzalez says he called the Troubleshooters after seeing our March 18 story about Maria Sanchez Ortiz, who'd also been without water.
She called us. We called the city utility department. She made a payment. And her water was restored.
Gonzalez says seeing that, gave him hope.
Here's his problem.
Big, unpaid water bills, for more than $2000.00, going back several months.
He claims they started coming in after the city replaced his meter a few years ago.
"As soon as he put that meter, the next month I had a bill for 48,000 gallons. Then 68,000. And in September 98,000 gallons."
Gonzalez says only 2 people live in his house. 2 more live in the small apartment in the back.
There's no way they use that much water in a month.
Even back when he had a pool in his backyard, he says his bills averaged $150.00 a month.
These days, he says he pays for water out of his own pocket for daily essentials like washing his face, brushing his teeth, cooking, and washing dishes.
But with our current global pandemic crisis "we could be put on lockdown. We can't leave. And I have 5 five gallons of water. 25 gallons to last me thru a lockdown. That's scary."
He also acknowledges the city has offered him payment plans to get his bill paid off and water service restored.
"That's like submission to guilt type thing. I do it to get my water. Keep my water on. Next thing I know I'm getting crazy bills again. My bill just keeps going up and up and up."
Margaret Morin, Utility Office Business Manager told us today, Gonzalez's account was closed in October last year.
And that he owes more than $2000.00.
He will have to go to city hall to get this resolved.
He'll have to make a down payment, plus enter into a payment plan.
But it sounds like Gonzalez is digging in for a long fight with the utility department.
"I'm not gonna pay them what I don't owe them. And if I have to live like this, I will live like this."