West Richland Residents Could See Hefty Bill Come Through - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Richland Residents Could See Hefty Bill Come Through

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WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - A "handful" of back-logged utility bills have been sent out to West Richland residents who were under-billed.

Mitch Clardy is one of the recipients to those bills.

"I opened it up and went, no, this has got to be a mistake. there's no way that I could go for seven years not paying sewage. Never really noticed if there was sewer coming out or not, I just assumed that when they billed me, they're billing me for sewer since I have water," said Clardy.

The City of West Richland says the few under-billed accounts are primarily sewer-related. A voluntary audit of all of their accounts led to the discovery of back-logged bills like Clardy's.

"Even in the most efficient billing systems, I think that there's always going to be some instances of billing error. We had a feeling, probably it would be likely there maybe could be a few accounts that would come up," said the City of West Richland's Finance Director Jessica Platt.

"It's not fair for me to pay for their mistakes," Clardy said.

Clardy said he'll fight his nearly $3,000 bill.

"Because somebody or something didn't do what it was supposed to, all of a sudden I owe $3,000," Clardy said.

The city said because they are a public agency they're required by state law to go back and collect on services provided to customers. 

 

Despite these back logged bills there is no deficit in the city's sewer budget.

 

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