DeKalb CEO will give an update on county water billing crisisCEO Michael Thurmond addresses the DeKalb County Commission on Feb. 23, 2017. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
This story has been updated.
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond on April 11 will update the public on the county’s efforts to address its water billing crisis.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m.
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“CEO Thurmond will discuss the most recent steps the county has taken toward resolving the county’s water billing crisis,” the announcement from the county says. “This meeting is part of CEO Thurmond’s commitment to be transparent by regularly updating residents about the county’s efforts to improve customer service in water billing.”
The event will be held at Maloof Auditorium, located at 1300 Commerce Drive, Decatur, GA 30030. It will also be broadcast live on Comcast Channel 23 and streamed on www.dekalbcountyga.gov.
There will also be an opportunity for the public to speak to county officials about their water bills. According to the county, “Water billing customers will have an opportunity to speak to DeKalb County Utility Customer Operations representatives from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Maloof lobby.”
In February, Thurmond delivered a sobering assessment of what led to the current predicament. Some residents haven’t received bills for months, and other residents are getting enormous bills from the county.
Thurmond said there were numerous reasons for the problems, including damaged or lost meters, lack of staff training and what he described as “political interference in day-to-day operations” at the Water Department.
Thurmond said 37,000 bills had been withheld since the fall due to questions about their accuracy, meaning some customers went months without receiving one. The county Water Department has about 190,000 customers. Thurmond announced plans to improve service and billing accuracy, additional staff training and said the county would bring in a third-party mediator to handle disputes. Some residents found his plan lacking in details and want additional information.
The CEO recently announced plans to release 8,000 held water bills.