Higher water bills following run order concerning people in Thorp

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Water has been causing some big problems for an area town, but it's not from the rain.

The city of Thorp had several pipes freeze up this winter, so a run water order was put into effect to prevent it from happening again.

The city agreed to pay for 250 gallons of water for each week that people had to keep it running.
But some were unhappy with the additional charges they're seeing in their bills.

“We've had some people pretty upset, people who have refused to claim the credit.” “We've had people with questions, who pay it and people who just paid, and others who claimed their credit and are happy,” city administrator Randy Reeg said.

After telling people to keep a thin stream of water running in their homes, thorp agreed to pay a portion back to them.

With the city covering a maximum of 250 gallons of water per week, some said they were confused over the cost in dollars that would be covered by the city.

Reeg said there were some other factors that led to higher bills.

“This is our first water bill where the garbage service is on there. So everybody's bill is $27.27 higher than normal anyway. Plus we waited three additional weeks to read our meters, so that we would only be dealing with credits and these extra usage in one billing quarter. So that's about a 23 percent longer period, a 16 week period instead of a 13 weeks. So the bill's going to be higher just based on that,” Reeg said.

Lavalle and Betty Williams of Thorp said this problem could have been prevented.

“Years ago, when they put my road in a few years ago, they should have dug (grounds to place pipes) deeper (to avoid freezing). Because Stanley dug deeper, the other downs that didn't freeze up, dug deeper and if we wouldn't be so shallow to the ground, I don't think we'd have this problem,” Betty Williams said.

There is a utilities meeting scheduled at the thorp city hall for May 13, and 14 where people can argue their case if they feel they're being charged inappropriately.

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