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Editorial: High water meter billing proposal should be re-evaluated

May 10, 2012
The Alpena News

We say tomato. You say "ta-ma-toe."

We say black. You say white.

One of life's truths we learned early on is that "perception really does become reality."

So how then, does one reconcile differences when one person's reality is, shall we say, clouded?

In a news story Thursday, United Operations Manager Mike Glowinski discussed the water meter conversion soon to begin in the City of Alpena, and potential billing problems that could be created by it. Specifically, remote meters and inside meters might not read the same way, and thus the remote may not have accounted for accurate billing over the years.

Anticipating such potential discrepancies, Glowinski said a cap of $400 will be instituted to resolve any differences as the inside meters are replaced.

"We set the cap as to not punish the customer...," he said. "We have long recognized the potential for true-ups, and by setting the limit at $400 it helps ensure customers don't get huge bills."

We're not sure about you, but $400 for us is a HUGE bill.

Yes, we appreciate the cap and yes, we understand a bill of that magnitude might be broken into a payment plan because of this situation, but we're sorry, $400 is a lot of money.

These past three weeks have not been pleasant ones for anyone on City Council. Unless Council is prepared for nothing short of a mutiny on their hands for those impacted by meter differences, we suggest they re-think the billing proposal currently being suggested.

If city residents suddenly are faced with the potential of $400 water bills, we can only anticipate the fallout, and we don't expect it would be pretty.

Imagine the perception of city residents then.



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