Anyone who has lived in Jonesboro over the last several years knows that for a long time there water bill is not an accurate reading of how much water is being used. Non-working meters and lack of control by previous administrations has attributed to the problem with the town attempting to keep the public works department operable by estimating and charging residents for average water usage.
While residents and businesses have enjoyed being able to use as much water as they want without having to pay for a true amount of usage the procedure being use has caused a severe strain on the town’s finances. Added to the problem is the large amount of renters who have been getting their water free.
This is the first area that is being addressed. According to town officials when people move out of a rented space they often don’t end their contracts when relocating. This allows access of water to tenants who move in afterward without having to pay for it or entering into a contract with the town.
“We are trying to find people who are getting water illegally and bring them legally into the system,” Janice Simmons, Mayor Leslie Thompson’s Executive Assistant, said.
More than 700 residents have had access to the town’s water without paying for it. Town officials said only does this hurt the departments finances isn’t fair to those who have been paying for their utilities. To help alleviate the problem public works employees are now going door-to-door, checking meters and making sure those who currently have water are in the town’s system.
“This forces the resident to come in, pay their deposit, and become a regular consumer who pays a regular water bill to the town of Jonesboro,” Simmons said.
Once it has been determined that a location is receiving water illegally access will be shut off. In order to get it back on you should go to city hall and pay your deposit to legally get water through the town’s system. As soon as payment is received the water will be cut on again.