The City of Texarkana Texas City Council will be briefed about a water issue that City Manager John Whitson has been asked to address at their regular scheduled council meeting on Monday, December 14, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. The council will consider a resolution to direct Forest Point Apartment Homes to pay the owed balance of $30,258.66 which is overdue.
City manager John Whitson explains why this issue has to come before council.
“The management of Forest Point Apartment Homes, Ms. Claire Jaynes, claims that TWU has overcharged for utility services for a very long time and requests refund of $24,000-$36,000,” Whitson said. “TWU has tried to make arrangements with management to bring this account into compliance, and I have tried to work with them as well, to no avail. I have no choice but to bring this issue to the council to ask the apartment complex to pay the balance of the account. We certainly have to keep in mind the residents of Forest Point Apartment Homes and their needs as tenants. We need to make every effort to solve this as quickly as possible and avoid water shut-off.”
According to the resolution which will be presented to city council on Monday, city staff has reviewed the water usage of this complex and others in Texarkana having similar unit counts and built in the same decade, applying multiple benchmark water usage rates based on a HUD Guidebook for Public Housing Authorities and using other on-line projection models based on household water use activities, which ultimately do not support the customer’s claims that usage exceeded expectations based on a standard or benchmark generally accepted by public authorities or experts in the field.
Texarkana Water Utilities has confirmed that the customer’s current water meter, installed in February 2015, has been monitored closely by trained personnel to ensure its proper operation, with the average per unit usage being determined to be approximately 204 gallons per day. The customer has been billed according to these meter readings. During this same time period, the customer, claiming estimates of usage are more accurate than the meter readings, has short-paid the monthly bill, thus failing to meet the customer’s contractual agreement with the City as provided by City Code Section 42-53.