CFPUA customers have until Tuesday afternoon to settle bills

Reported by Kristy Ondo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Residents who are more than three months behind on their water bills have less than 24 hours to get back on track.

Several people received their bills late when the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority took over for the Wilmington Water Authority in 2008.

"Some of the customers unfortunately fell extremely behind because they weren't paying the bills and we've got some customers that are classified as extremely delinquent," said Carey Ricks with CFPUA.

Extremely delinquent by definition means you haven't paid your bill in 90 days or more and you owe more than $350.  Many customers say the $350 mark isn't too hard to hit, depending on how often your bill comes.

Resident Sondra North is up-to-date with her payments, but she can see how others aren't after months of glitches in the billing system.

"This is the first two-month period that I've received only one bill," said North.  "The other months I've received no bill at all or three bills."

According to CFPUA, the billing problems have been fixed since May, but they are ready to make payment plans for customers who can't come up with hundreds of dollars on the spot.

"People who are retired, in my situation, who may not be financially able to handle the bill," said North.  "People who are really having to decide whether to pay the water bill or the electric bill."

If you are behind on your water bills, call the authority or head to their offices on Government Center Drive in Wilmington and work out a payment plan by Wednesday.  Even if you can't pay the full balance that's past due, you should be able to work something out to keep them from shutting off your water.

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