PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Ten months after the Pasco County clerk launched an investigation, she announced Tuesday there are big problems within the county utility department. Clerk Paula O’Neil called for an inspector general audit last October, following an 8 On Your side investigation into unusually high water bills.
There were hundreds of complaints. The one that particularly caught the clerk’s eye was a bill for more than $3,000 – for one month’s worth of water.
The audit found systematic billing problems. For example, meter readers did not make some rates and recorded inaccurate numbers. These errors caused customers’ bills to jump into higher billing tiers.
“We cannot give you answers,” O’Neil told county commissioners. “We can only give you facts.”
County administrators decided to bring in an outside consultant to help the utilities department sort out the problems. They will also bring in temporary staff so that current staff can devote their time to this.
Meanwhile, staff will examine each of the bills auditors think are incorrect in order to consider adjustments. If you think you may have been overcharged, based on inconsistences in your bills or large jumps in fees, call Pasco County Utilities at (727) 847-8131 or the Pasco County clerk’s office at (352) 521-4248.