GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Changes to modernize the water billing process in one Coast city have left some residents confused.
Even though billing issues are down in Gulfport, some questions still remain. The days of city employees walking from house to house reading water meters is a thing of the past.
Gulfport’s Assistant Director of Public Works Ryan Merrill said that role has changed with the times.
“You may not see that meter reader in the field, like you used to, on a regular basis. Now, for the most part, they’re going to be out turning service on and off or maybe working on a work order. They don’t have to hit every single house and check every single meter,” Merrill said.
For many living in the city, that is a major change from what has always been in place. Even with that change already in place, there is still a slight modification to the way the actual accounts are billed. Now that the seven-month project of changing out analog meter heads to converted to digital meter heads has finished up, the billing structure has been changed from a flat rate to consumption.
“Last year we did have a seven-month period in our project when we were changing out the meter heads. We billed everyone just a flat rate for a majority of the city. Now we’re billing on consumption. So, as you use your water, your water and sewer will go up,” Merrill said.
None of that, he said, means that people won’t still have questions about their bills.
“If you have a problem, we want to sit down and work with you. It’s always best to have people come into the office and let’s work this out together. We may have made a mistake on our end, there may be a leak that’s going on, or it could be some anomaly that we need to just sit down and discuss. We have an open-door policy here. We want you to come in, sit down, and let’s work out any issues you want to discuss,” Merrill told WLOX.
If you have questions about your water bill, city officials are asking that you speak with a staff member at either Utility Billing location (13472 Highway 49 N or 1422 23rd Ave.) or call 228-868-5720.