A condo association is in a crunch, pressed by skyrocketing water bills. The association reached out to News 5 after learning about our year-long investigation into complaints about Cleveland Water, including its billing practices.
"Frustrating…absolutely frustrating,” said Dan Hennessy. He is the President of the condo association that takes care of 15 Hilliard Place in Westlake.
Water there is used to sprinkle the grass. Hennessy showed us typical bills that were anywhere from $18-$75 but there’s a huge spike in the last months of 2014 totaling nearly $5,000 and in 2015 another spike at almost $3,200. But, get this, the high bills are for months when they turn the sprinkler water off.
"For October, November, December, there should be no water usage,” Hennessy told us.
He did say they found a leak once but "...after that charge, before the leak was repaired, our charges went down to very, very low values."
After the water department threatened to turn the water off, Hennessy said he wrote letters to Cleveland Water and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson but got no response. That's when Hennessy simply paid the bills. “Because we have no other alternative,” he said.
Hennessy also said that the bills are taking a toll on sellers because the association fees have to cover the outrageous bills. Buyers are turned off when they see higher fees.
"Over the last two years and extra ($8,000) in water bills, that has to be reflected in our budget somehow to take care of those numbers."
After our calls on this issue to Cleveland Water, department reps told us they will take another look at the account and answer all of Hennessy's questions.
This bill is one of hundreds of complaints we've received from Cleveland Water customers who’ve been upset over questionable billing.