Contact 13: Down the Drain
Water Authority surcharge outrages homeowners, businesses
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Residents and businesses all across the Valley are seeing a spike in their water bills.
Many are outraged with a new surcharge and plan to confront the Southern Nevada Water Authority at its board meeting on Thursday.
Water bills are being pushed higher, anywhere from $5 to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But the fee is taking some homeowners by surprise.
The surcharge depends on meter size at a home or business.
"At first, it angered me. I was trying to figure out why my bill had nearly went up a third," said Hayes Latin.
Latin, a resident in North Las Vegas, received his monthly water bill and was expecting to see the new $5 Water Authority surcharge for homeowners.
But when he opened the bill, it was $19.21.
"I don't think they were honest. I think they put it through without really being honest to the public and they didn't really make it clear what they were going to do," said Latin.
When he called the SNWA, they told him it is because he lives in a three-story condo complex. He is required to have a one-inch meter.
That makes his monthly surcharge higher than most homeowners, who typically have a smaller meter. The smaller meter carries a $5 fee.
"It's just like anything. I mean, every dollar I have, I have to account for because I'm ill and I'm on a fixed income. I have to pay for medicines and $19.21 is one of my medicines for one month," explained Latin.
Latin believes each home or business should be billed on the amount of water they use, not on their meter size. That is why he plans to voice his opinion at the water authority meeting Thursday morning.
"It just needs to be fair. I will tell you, I know people who use 20,000 gallons on a 3/4-inch meter. I'm only using 2,000 gallons but I have an inch because I need to," said Latin.
At this point, Latin doesn't believe much will be done to lower the surcharge.
"What are you gonna do. You just have to pay it and cut somewhere else. Maybe stop taking one of my medicines, maybe stop or cut something else. But it's all you can do," expressed Latin.
The board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 21 at 9 a.m. at the board chambers at 100 City Parkway on the 7th floor in Las Vegas.
There will be a portion for general comments from the public.