In response to a preliminary audit, New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon has ordered a comprehensive assessment of all County sewer bills to test for inaccuracies that stemmed from Artesian Water’s billing conversion during the previous administration’s time in office.
“We’re a team here,” County Executive Gordon told County Auditor Bob Wasserbach at a meeting held Monday. “We’ll address this and do better going forward. If anyone was overbilled, we’ll make them whole.”
New Castle County sewer bills are based on the water consumption of customers. The County purchases data from the local water companies in order to calculate people’s sewer bills. Most water companies have billed customers on a quarterly basis. County Auditor Bob Wasserbach initiated the audit due to the fact that Artesian, which has 70,000 customers, went from a quarterly billing cycle to a monthly billing cycle.
The County Auditor believes some sewer customers may have been overbilled or underbilled.
Gordon and Chief Administrative Officer David Grimaldi took the preliminary audit seriously and directed Chief Financial Officer Mike Coupe to have the Department of Finance recalculate sewer bills to ensure no one was overbilled or underbilled. As part of that process, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Jim McDonald and Accounting and Fiscal Managers Ed Milowicki and Denny Harman met with top Artesian officials on Monday to determine how to reexamine water meter data.
At that meeting with Artesian, it was agreed that New Castle County would recalculate the water data, and McDonald assigned that task to Information Systems Manager Tom Peralta.
Grimaldi said he anticipated that the recalculated sewer bills would be ready within three weeks.
In the meantime, anyone with questions about his sewer bill can write to a special email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.