Fort Lauderdale residents frustrated about rising water bills

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents of a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood are sharing their frustration about what they described as an abrupt rise in their water bill.

Four homeowners from the Imperial Point community held up their water bills for 7News cameras, Thursday afternoon. All of the bills had the total amount highlighted with a lemon-colored marker.

“It jumped from $226 to $505 in one month,” said homeowner Donna Tomey-Barahona.

Another bill was for nearly $700.

Resident Perry Murphy has lived at his current home for almost two years.

“We started getting water bills for $500, $600, then $900 when we filled the pool up,” he said. “I actually thought that was unacceptable.”

Edenil Camra lives a few blocks away from Murphy.

“It comes up and down. It’s $300, $400. It just depends,” she said. “In the summer, it’s even worse.”

Heidi Neto, who lives across the street from Murphy, said her lowest bill is $200, but during a bad month it’s climbed to about $600.

“Every month, when I get my water bill, I’m scared to open it because I have no idea what it’s going to be,” she said.

Nearby resident Tomey-Barahona is leading the way for a group of her neighbors, all of whom are paying several hundred dollars a month for water.

“There are people that are paying $300, $400, $500 to $700 a month, and these are jumps from $200 a month to maybe $500, $600 a month without any explanation from the city,” she said.

Fort Lauderdale spokesperson Shannon Vezina emailed 7News a statement that read, “Residents in Imperial Point contacted the city late last year regarding their utility bills, and our current city manager met with them to hear their concerns. Since then, we have been working with the neighborhood to help them understand our utility billing structure and explore specific concerns on an individual basis.”

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