Country Pines residents discuss high water bills with water company

Country Pines residents discuss high water bills with water company
(Source: Maranda Whittington/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Last month some Lake Charles residents told 7News  they were upset their water bill jumped more than 130 percent.

The water company told Country Pines residents about their increase back in November, and it officially took effect in January.

But Tuesday night a representative from the company met with residents who are still upset.

"How upset? My blood pressure is up high," said resident Reggie Fontenot.

Mad just isn't the word to describe how Fontenot is feeling.

Fontenot and other Country Pines Subdivision residents all met Tuesday night trying to figure out what's going on with their water bills.

"I make $13,000 a year, and a hundred dollars a month for water is not even….my electric bill is not even that high, said Fontenot.

Fontenot went from paying around $45 to a little over $100 a month for water he says isn't even drinkable.

"The water is nasty, sometimes," he said. "Sometimes it's clean, but it's not always good."

Fontenot's subdivision receives their water from Community Utilities of Louisiana Inc. and spokesperson Aaron Accardo understands residents concerns.

"I don't think anybody is arguing that it's a fairly steep increase," said Accardo. "It's reflective of the significant investments that we made in the acquisition of 73 non-compliant systems."

Accardo says the water company spent around $9 million reviving those systems, and they let residents know their bills would be increasing back in November.

Accardo says that company along with Utilities Inc. will consolidate in hopes of stabilizing rates for customers, but that information still isn't changing Fontenot's feelings.

"It's outrageous, and it's piracy," he said. "It's thievery, and I'm tired of big companies coming in and charging us an ungodly price for water."

Residents who receive their water from Community Utilities of Louisiana Inc. any more questions about rate increases can visit their website HERE.

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