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Sagamore Hills condo owners fight 500% Cleveland water bill increase

Posted at 9:25 PM, Dec 03, 2019

SAGAMORE HILLS, Ohio — Some Sagamore Hills condo owners, living in the Greenwood Village neighborhood, are upset and frustrated with the Cleveland Division of Water, and are now facing what they say is more than a 500% increase in their water bills.

Dozens of members with Greenwood Village Condo Association #3, held an emergency meeting to update their ongoing fight with the Cleveland Water Department, over a huge increase in their water bills they said will cost each unit an additional $1,500 a year.

Greenwood Village Board President Charles Pilny told News 5 the huge increase took place in April after the public utility installed a new meter at the property.

Pilny said the water department came out to determine if its new meter was working properly but insisted the higher bills were due to an undetected water leak.

“They said we've had a 18 to 25 gallon-a-minute leak for the last eight months, we’d have a new lake at condo three somewhere and there’s no evidence of a leak anywhere.”

"We can't get the water department to give us any information."

"They don’t respond to a letter from an attorney, we’ve threatened a lawsuit at this point, they haven’t responded.”

Pilny said the condo association paid an independent plumbing firm more than $5,000 to inspect four dozen units on three streets, but it was unable to find any water leaks.

News 5 contacted Cleveland water headquarters and it responded immediately.

The utility told News 5 its new meter passed all tests but said they were also unable to find leaks at Greenwood Village.

The water department said it's determined that water consumption in that section of condos suddenly dropped on Sept. 27, increased again on Oct. 4 and then dropped to more normal levels on Nov. 5.

But, water department officials said they couldn't explain the dramatic shift in water consumption, they only said they will work with all of the effected property owners in the coming weeks.

Residents told News 5 the water department will now retest its new meter system and meet with condo management on Dec. 6 in search of a solution.

Meanwhile, some Greenwood Village residents, like Karen Hale, remain upset and concerned about this ongoing water bill mystery.

“How can Cleveland water hold us hostage, and that’s what they’re trying to do," Hale said.

“I’m not paying them any extra until I know exactly where that water is going, and what I’m using.”

“There is something wrong with their metering and they’re flow of water.”