Posted 4:35 PM 5/18/2012 : Tucson family billed after 9 years
TUCSON - A Tucson family is at odds with the Tucson Water Department after receiving a bill for $26.05 dating back nine years.
Jennifer Moreno said she got the bill in the mail last week and was shocked when she read the date. "It's definitely about the principle and you know like I said, it's not how small the amount is when you're struggling and hours have been cut at work it's difficult to pay the $26.05," she said.
The water department recently acquired the staffing to go after delinquent payments.
Tucson Water says the delinquency got lost in the system back in 2002 when a collections agency was supposed to collect the outstanding debt. Fernando Molina, a spokesman for the department said,"It was just that our staff was able to go back and start reconciling a lot of these old files and we were able to identify this one."
According to Molina, Jennifer's debt stayed off the radar because three names were listed on the account, including Jennifer's husband Eddie, who said, "We don't keep our receipts from almost ten years ago I feel like we're the ones being blamed for this." In the last nine years the Morenos were able to close and open water accounts with never learning of the delinquent payment.
While speaking with a water supervisor about the bill Jennifer learned the meter at her current home was not functioning properly, "I was like, oh my gosh I'm trying to find a $26.05 bill and now I have to pay probably back pay between $300 and $400." Molina said the department repaired the meter this week, "nobody should be back billed for more than three months at this point because we are more actively keeping up with these."
Eddie told News 4 he would pay the bill because he doesn't want his water to be shut off. Molina said payment plans are available for families to repay outstanding debt.
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