YOU PAID FOR IT: Disabled Clearwater man faced with crippling water bills

Danny Proffitt received huge water bills for his Clearwater home.

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — Danny Proffitt is disabled. Proffitt lives on a fixed income and stays in his Clearwater home pretty much 24/7.

So, imagine his surprise when his June water bill arrived indicating he’d used more than $500 worth of water. The next month another $500 bill came in the mail.

“I wonder how I’m going to pay for it,” Proffitt said. “I’m on a disability and just don’t have the extra money coming in to pay for something like this.”

Proffitt speaks slowly and has to place his finger over a hole in his tracheotomy tube in order to be heard.

The water bill poses a real problem for him, especially after he forked over $630 to a plumber to certify his home is leak free. He also purchased a new air conditioning system to replace one that recently failed. In addition, Proffitt is trying to raise $2,600 through GoFundMe to have his dog’s cancerous tumor removed.

He thinks the City of Clearwater is taking a hard line for a problem he has nothing to do with.

The city tested Proffitt’s water meter, and officials insist there’s nothing wrong with it. Utility managers suspect the culprit is a running toilet — which Proffitt denies — or a neighbor stealing water, which Proffitt says is virtually impossible since he is home around the clock.

“We will work with them to make sure the meter is working properly and see if there is any of the sewer fees,” Clearwater Spokeswoman Joelle Castelli said. “We can reimburse them for and we can also set up a payment plan,” Castelli said.

Basically, the city is willing to waive nearly half of Proffitt’s bill, but that still means he’s out more than $1,100 for two months of water bills that would normally cost him about $180.

It’s still not clear where all of that water went. Proffitt swears he’s not responsible. But he still has to pay more than $500 to settle his water bills and doesn’t have a clue how he’ll afford his dog’s surgery.

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