SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – News 8 has been pushing for answers since launching its Your Stories investigation about outrageous water bills throughout San Diego.

Now, News 8 viewers will have the opportunity to confront the Water Department directly over sky high bills during a meeting that is scheduled this week – a meeting that could pay off for San Diegans.

The forum will be held on Thursday, February 15th from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mira Mesa Senior Center.

Thursday’s forum will allow San Diegans to question the Water Department directly, and customer service representatives will be on site with the ability to offer refunds and issue credits to customers.

The forum is part of San Diego Councilmember Chris Cate’s request so the public and the Public Utilities Department can meet face to face.

“There is a lot of frustration. There are a lot of questions. There is a lot of animosity. Regaining that trust from residents because again, this is a basic function of government. We have to get this right,” said Cate.

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Last week, the Water Department admitted to overcharging about 340 customers in Mira Mesa, Carmel Valley, Rancho Bernardo and Rancho Penasquitos.

But there were many San Diegans who live outside those neighbors who said the problem spreads a lot further.

James Maddalena lives in one of the neighborhoods the Water Department admitted was overcharged, however, he remains skeptical.

“A lot of us are living paycheck to paycheck just to make ends meet. I don’t know if I am personally included. No one reached out to me. It’s just words at this point. I want to see some action,” he said.

Maddalena is planning on attending Thursday’s forum.

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The agenda for Thursday’s forum includes: 1) An overview of how to read you water bill, 2) A question and answer with leaders of the Public Utilities Department, and 3) five-staff members with laptops on hand to address billing concerns.

Those staff members will have authorization to refund and give credits on bills.

Those planning on attending need to bring two of their most recent water bills with them. No appointment is necessary.


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