Homeowner fights $3K city water bill

Posted at: 12/23/2013 7:47 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A Belen homeowner received a bill claiming he used more than 733-thousand gallons of water in just 21 days – enough water to overfill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

After 4 On Your Side met with John Bodenheimer on Monday and started to ask the city questions, city workers vowed to remedy the “clerical errors” that caused the concerns.

But the problems started long before Bodenheimer underwent this latest round of sticker shock.  Three months ago, he received a bill claiming he used 33,500 gallons of water.

Immediately next door, his new neighbors – who haven’t even moved in yet – received a bill claiming they used more than 11-thousand gallons of water.

“We don't live here.  We're not living here,” Norrell Bishop said.

The Bishops’ home is still under heavy renovation.

Late Monday afternoon, city workers inspected Bodenheimer’s water meter.  Earlier, a woman in the water department said the water meter was slated for replacement weeks ago.  She also said city staff corrected the latest bill.

There’s no way Bodenheimer said he’d be able to afford it as it is.

“No, not on Social Security,” he said. “I'd be paying for it the rest of my life, I'm 52 years old.”