PASCAGOULA -- Check your February water and sewer bill.
City leaders announced Monday complaints are coming in that water and sewer bills -- expected to be higher because of a new rate increase -- are coming in too high.
Businesses and residents have called the city to complain. One bill was $200 over what the business expected. Errors include being taxed inappropriately and double billing on the new rate increase.
The city added a flat sewer hike of $21.47 for homes and about $30 for most businesses in the city to raise $1.8 million to pay the city's sewer bill to the Jackson County Utility Authority.
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But more money is coming in than what the city anticipated it would need for JCUA.
"The concern is that the numbers aren't adding up," said City Councilwoman Brenda Simpkins.
Simpkins and other city leaders were concerned that the city somehow miscalculated what it needed.
"If we've gotten it wrong, the message to the public is, 'We've made a mistake, we'll fix it," she said.
Councilman David Tadlock also pointed out, "the letter we sent out said the increase was because of the JCUA, it didn't mention errors in billing because of a new system. We need to let people know."
Bobby Parker, the city comptroller, told city leaders Monday that errors on bills need to be reported. There are 6,700 utility customers in the city, and Parker told the Sun Herald the billing errors could be in the hundreds. He said he still wasn't sure of the extent on Monday, but customers can report errors at 938-6716.
City Attorney Eddie Williams advised the council to fix the errors, but give the new rate a few months "rather than rush to judgment over one billing cycle."
He reminded council members that the JCUA anticipates another cost increase next year of between $600,000 and $2.5 million county wide. Pascagoula's portion would be 28 percent of the increase.