Troubleshooters: Kingsville Water Bill Issue

Posted at 7:30 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 20:30:37-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Kingsville man asks for help getting his water bill back to what it was before he claims the city damaged his water meter.

His April bill was 3 times its average. He says the city has assured him he'll get a discount on his May bill, but what happens after that?

Rey Lara says he's lived in the same house in Kingsville for 30 years or so.

But this issue with his water bill all started when he says a crew with the City of Kingsville was doing a recent brush pick-up in front of his house.

He pointed out the thick, dried clumps of mud, apparently from tractor tires, leading to his water meter as proof they damaged it.

"This is how they left it," he pointed out to the Troubleshooters. "This is the water meter. As you could see, the track is here. And it's a wide track. This is not your normal vehicle track."

But Lara says the city utilities office told him the damage was on "his side," so they weren't liable for repairs.

Even tho Lara disagreed with their assessment, he paid $120 out of his pocket to get it fixed.

But then another problem arose.

Before the damage was done, Lara says his average water bill came to roughly $80.00 a month.

His April bill, after he had the meter repaired, was $239.

That's when he said he called the troubleshooters for help.

"Is this a classic case of you can try to fight city hall, but you'll never beat city hall?" we asked him. "To me, it's just, you go thru the channels and try to do things right. It all depends on whether they listen to you or not."

But this time city hall did listen, and responded.

The Troubleshooters contacted Sharon Shaw in Kingsville's utilities billing office.

She responded the next day thru email saying "his recent bill, that was mailed out yesterday, has returned to normal since he has repaired the leak he had."

"To me, I think allowing something like this now will make people open their ears and their eyes. I'm hoping and praying for that," Lara said.

He was given an $80.00 credit for his May bill, but insists he's owed credit for two more months because of the $239 the city charged him.