Township water department hitting me with a large bill after having billed me wrong for 15 months

When I bought my park there was already a water submetering company in place handling the readings.

They were really bad, so we recently decided to fire them and bring the water meter reading in house.

I reached out to the township water department to touch bases on billing procedures and make sure we were doing so correctly.

When I talked to the manager in charge of water billing at the township, he told me that upon reviewing our account they have been billing us incorrectly for the past 15 months, and failed to properly add in an access charge per unit. They asked me how many units we had, and then sent me a bill for $7,940.77 for previous undercharges over the past 15 months.

This is obviously really obnoxious, and I feel I should have a right to be billed correctly up front rather than haphazardly. Do any park owners have an opinion on this?

Any chance they can allow you to make payments on the bill? Or perhaps let it go considering the hardship it will have on the tenants/you? Or perhaps bill you for only a portion of the total? It doesn’t hurt to ask I suppose…

A couple additional comments in addition…

I would read about this access charge and how it applies to various commercial setups. Check how this applies to RV Parks, apartments, other multifamily types to see if they’re consistently applying this charge or if they’re picking on you.

Can you see in your historical bills from 15+ months ago that the access charges were indeed higher, or are they tweaking a rate that’s under the hood due to a change approved by the city?

Spend some time dissecting the issue to understand why there was confusion by the water department, and see if there is an argument in your favor to dispute it once you have the entire story.

I know everyone loves city water sewer but this is the downside. Its a monopoly, they can really charge any price or fee they want. The infrastructure is getting really old… better sub meter asap before they realize they need to double their rates to pay for all their deferred capital projects.

Best approach is to be nice and work out a payment plan…


@Noel_S , as per your post:

  • “Township water department hitting me with a large bill after having billed me wrong for 15 months”

First of all my heart breaks for you.

This is wrong…wrong…wrong.

What the Water Company is doing to you is wrong.

The Water Company billed you…you paid them…done.

You should NOT be back billed by the Water Company.

Now…going forward…as per the Water Company’s charges…that is a different matter.

However, I would immediately search for an Attorney to be on your side.

It sounds like you have gone with the “nice” approach and it has not worked.

Now it is time for the “fight” approach.

We wish you the very best!

I can tell you right away from our experiences in wisconsin that they are only allowed to back bill for 12 months or one full year. but you can as well.

You can pass that cost to the tenants under law in wisconsin.

I wouldn’t know if that would be the case for you, it all depends on where you are located.

I can help you out if i had some more info

Thanks Gabe and for the support everyone. We’re in Michigan.

i just got word from our rep in michigan and he has seen michigan back bill as far as 96 months or 8 years , but again you can pass that cost back to the tenants