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Entire west side neighborhood upset with water line project

Posted at 5:46 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 18:24:42-05

Our On Your Side Investigators have been digging into complaints about the Cleveland Water Department and now an entire neighborhood is fed up.  With constant noise, phone calls ignored, and big questions about water bills they called us for help.

"We're just devastated. I'm aggravated with it,” said Betty Urban who stood with many others on Kensington Avenue in Cleveland. As they talked to us, continued construction work went on along their street.

It's all part of water lines being replaced. Service at one point was suddenly cut off. "One of the neighbors on this street actually had a funeral in the family and the whole family came over to her house afterwards and there was no water. And I said, 'No notice?' Nothing at all,” said Beverly Moreno.

Neighbors got their water from a hydrant and hoses. They told us they got so-called actual readings charging them for water that never ran through their meters. When they asked Cleveland Water why, there was pushback. “We'd call them and they would give us an attitude,” said Kirk Yochum. “On top of that, our bill, which I was expecting it to be a lot lower, was almost the same price."

Tim Urban is upset about many things including the bills. "We should be compensated on our water bill for one. We shouldn't have been charged for water,” he told us.

It's all similar to our On Your Side Investigations into poor customer service and roadblocks for city of Cleveland residents. "The mayor? We don't count on him for anything,” said neighbor Phil Graynolds.

The neighbors told us the street project was only supposed to last a few weeks and ended up taking nearly a few months; that it's just now getting the last touches after our phone calls and more help. "We waited long enough for this. It took you guys coming out and maybe it took our councilwoman doing her job very well," said Graynolds.

So, how would the very people putting up with this describe how the city handled their situation?

"Terrible.”

“Ridiculous.”

“Chaotic.”

“Unnecessary.”

“Irresponsible."

Late this afternoon, we got a text from the Cleveland Water Department saying it has reviewed what's going on and they will be reaching out to provide information and answer any questions.

We'll let you know if any adjustments will be made on their water bills.