Tijeras residents still waiting on water bill refunds | KOB 4
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Tijeras residents still waiting on water bill refunds

Nathan O'Neal
October 28, 2019 05:33 PM

TIJERAS, N.M.- When a Tijeras woman received a nearly $2,000 water bill, she turned to KOB 4 Investigates for help. Her story exposed a glitch in the way the village billed its residents.

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Local leaders promised to fix the problem Trixie Hannan reported, but that hasn’t happened.

“It just keeps growing and growing… I can never get around it,” said Hannan when she first shared her story in January.

The village council and Mayor Gloria Chavez voted in January to clarify the ordinance that dictates the billing process. It was the first step to fix the accounting problem that led to excessive charges on some water bills. However, progress toward the billing fix has since stalled.

Hannan’s latest bill still shows more than $2,000 owed, and Mayor Chavez says at least 30 residents have requested refunds on their bills.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” said Tijeras councilor Jake Bruton who says the village still needs to hire an accountant to fix the problem.

“I feel a little responsible. I should have brought his up in meetings as well,” said Bruton. “The mayor is ultimately responsible for the agenda but I should have been advocating a little more for the resident.”

Mayor Chavez said in a statement:

“Due to being short staffed the adjustment of finance charges is taking longer than anticipated. There are about 30 customers that have requested refunds. Council has stated that refunds will be returned on a case by case basis. I disagree and believe that everyone who is owed a refund should be reimbursed. Ms. Hannan will be the first one who’s bill will be adjusted.”

The village council is also in the works of reformatting the village ordinance that dictates how the billing system works.

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Nathan O'Neal

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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