Cuyahoga Falls residents fight a series of utility bill issues

Mayor said software problems are to blame
Posted at 10:41 PM, Aug 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 13:34:56-04

Thousands of Cuyahoga Falls residents are fighting what they call an unfair rate increase and billing problems connected with their water, sewer and electric service.

Residents said the problems started when Cuyahoga Falls went to a new billing system and software in June, causing billing delays, and big balances to pile-up for some 26,000 accounts.

Residents said they were faced with late fees and many unanswered questions about rate increases for water, sewer and electric.

Some residents like Phil Hogan and Theresa Dunn told their utility bills have doubled.

"Nothing is proactively being done to address the true problems that we're having," said Hogan.

"The major bills, the meters being incorrect, in my opinion, and the fact that were being charged at least twice the national average for wholesale electricity."

"I honestly think there needs to be an internal investigation. To make such a huge increase and to expect us to be responsible for it without any notification is just unacceptable," said Dunn.

Dunn believes there should have been public meetings before the new billing system was put on-line, especially since Cuyahoga Falls runs its own utilities and doesn't fall under the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for oversight on rate increases.

NewsChannel 5 and reached out to Mayor Don Walters about this issue.

Walters said new software purchased in 2011 is to blame, and explained he and his utilities commissioner will work diligently to solve all billing problems.

"We found that there were some errors, those get kicked back," said Walters.  "When we have 26,000 customers and we have to do manual checks, that's going to delay that bill getting out."

Walters said he hopes to have all billing issues corrected by the end of the year, but didn't make it clear if informational meetings will be held on the rate hikes perceived by residents.