Major businesses dispute large Cleveland Water bills

Posted at 7:14 AM, Oct 18, 2016

The Cleveland Division of Water released its top 15 delinquent commercial accounts, but some city council members believe the list raises more questions about collections and billing accuracy.

The list included a Cleveland school and Hopkins International Airport, both reportedly owing more than $142,000 to the water department.

However, it was later discovered the school was torn down three years earlier, and the bill sent to the airport was due to a water main break.

Eight other bills on the list are being disputed by the businesses, who told News 5 they believe the bills are inaccurate and have been in dispute for years.

Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek believes the list is another example that Cleveland Water collection and billing practice need to be examined.

"You would think at that point isn't the division of water notified that this building was torn down, and that that account no longer exists," said Polensek.

"How are they collecting bills, what are the delinquencies, are they having problems collecting.  And again, who are the top outstanding delinquencies?"

Polensek said billing accuracy needs to be investigated.

Polensek said acting utilities committee chair Dona Brady will be asking the water department for an updated list of uncollected business accounts this week.

Cleveland Water refused to comment for this story, but said it will provide an updated list as soon as the list is approved by the Cleveland Law Department.