Two billing errors could cost some taxpayers to correct


Two major billing errors could cost some Volusia County taxpayers more than $1 million to correct.

Some people in Port Orange and Daytona Beach Shores were either overcharged or underbilled.

WFTV's Blaine Tolison asked city leaders what went wrong. There are two reasons: faulty meters that will need to be replaced, and human error -- a data-entry mistake from 2009.

City leaders in Port Orange have decided a major problem in how the city is billing for reclaimed water cannot wait. Officials said it has already cost taxpayers more than $1 million and has affected thousands of people.

"We're going to move forward in a positive active way and make sure our customers are satisfied in our city and our neighbor cities," said Kent Donahue, with the City of Port Orange.

The neighboring city is Daytona Beach Shores, which uses Port Orange's reclaimed water.

Officials said when the Shores was given a new water rate in 2009, a data entry mistake was made. It caused years of underbilling -- to the tune of $800,000.

"I think they're going to kind of stir up a bag of worms if they try to bill people on something three years old," said Port Orange resident Donald Roberts.

On top of that, officials said the city is dealing with water meters that are overbilling customers in both Daytona Beach Shores and Port Orange. The overbilled figure is approaching $200,000.

"All those issues, how we're going to work that out with our community and that community, it will be related to the city council's direction," said Donahue.

The city council is meeting Thursday. Officials said they will have to come up with solutions. We could find out if overbilled customers will get refunds and if those who were underbilled will have to pay.

"Do something to correct it, whether it's robbing Peter to pay Paul or just to absorb it themselves," said Roberts.

Officials said the city is getting new meters this year. As for the data-entry issue, it is being corrected.