By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost—If Mayor Linda Balzotti follows the recommendation of the Brockton City Council and approves a two or three-year lookback period on disputed water bills, many residents like Bob Ford believe their problems may be solved and await Balzotti’s decision, however, many believe it should not be the last step to resolve the problems in the Department of Public Works.
Ford, who was the first resident to make his water bill problem public last August and has had his bill reduced to $12,000—an amount he refuses to pay and believes is erroneous--said he believes if either the two or three-year lookback is enacted he should get a refund.
“I think I will be completely vindicated,” Ford said. “I should get a refund. I wonder if I should charge 14 percent interest,” he added.
Ford and a group of other residents in Brockton United Voices which formed last fall after the water billing debacle began, are waiting patiently for Balzotti to decide if she will follow the City Council’s recommendation made Monday, July 25.
Balzotti, in a telephone interview, said she is in favor of a lookback period that would limit how many years the water department can charge residents on disputed bills and could save many thousands, but is not sure if a two-year or three-year restriction will make an impact on the city’s treasury and other areas.
“I have not had the opportunity to see what the implications are,” Balzotti said. She said along with not knowing what it would cost the water department, it is unclear how many of 700 accounts that have been identified as having problems or disputes.
She said if she approves the lookback policy, it would include businesses and commercial entities, too.
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