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Sewerage and Water rates

Is anyone concerned about the billing practices of New Jersey American Water?????
Sea Isle City, our neighbor is not billed this way.  I was told on two occasions that Ocean City Administration wants it this way and gets a cut….unbelievable….I wish Fairness in Taxes would get involved?
Phyllis Geisdorf January 10, 2014 at 02:26 AM
Vic, Where did you go??????? Why did you delete all your helpful comments…..You can't be afraid of anything in Ocean City could you?????????
Phyllis Geisdorf January 10, 2014 at 02:45 AM
And Thanks Eric!
Phyllis Geisdorf January 10, 2014 at 02:53 AM
Bob, What's a fair price? Have a friend in Sea Isle who rents every week during the summer, (I rent only 3 to 4 weeks to cover taxes) and she pays a quarterly what I will be paying monthly. So, Ocean City is ripping us off!!!!!
Rich King January 10, 2014 at 08:45 PM
As I stated before I lived in a seasonal community ( mystic Island) and paid $130 per quarter for w&s. Here for the same usage I pay $75-$80 per month. That 's $230-$240 per quarter. This is for 2 people and I watch my summer usage carefully. This is an issue that I discussed with our former councilman in the north end to no avail. It apparently is not a concern of the utility board as we have been overcharged for longer than I have lived here. I will look at the petition and hopefully sign it. Got to start somewhere.
Big c January 15, 2014 at 02:17 PM
I will be paying close attention to my water bill now. After sandy my home was totaled. I was in oc on Friday after the storm, I personally shut my water off. In December I received the November bill which was 400 dollars higher than the October bill. I called and was told I must have a leak. Any way there was no leak and I received an apology. I wonder how many people just payed?
Phyllis Geisdorf January 15, 2014 at 02:51 PM
Big c, Just talked to the water company again and was told all homeowners are charged a "flat fee" of $250 per month for "waste water service charge" and this flat fee was initiated by the water company and the Cape May Count Utilities Board/Commission. Is everybody being charge $250???? Also, discovered Ocean City also has a Utility Commission and their next meeting is Weds. 1/19 at 9Am at the HENRY S. KNIGHT BUILDING, 115 EAST 12th St CONFERENCE ROOM #209….Would love company and will post their agenda when it becomes available…..We have to start somewhere!!!!!
Phyllis Geisdorf January 15, 2014 at 02:52 PM
Sorry, the meeting is 2/19 not 1/19!
Phyllis Geisdorf January 15, 2014 at 03:02 PM
Rich King, Don't know how long you have lived here but all of my the waste removal monthly charges from 2011 through 8/2012, averaged $20 to $40….significantly different from $250!!!!! If this is true, who can afford to live here or own property! Had to laugh when the water representative suggested I just close my account…that's a real good solution don't you think!
Eric Sauder January 15, 2014 at 03:09 PM
They're an arrogant bunch and know what to squeeze. I had trouble with the link to your petition. Can you repost it?
Phyllis Geisdorf January 15, 2014 at 03:16 PM
Eric and anyone else who would like to sign a petition to change this process for determining wastewater service charges can go to www.chn.ge/1cFOf81…..let me know if you have a problem. And Thanks for your support.
Eric Sauder January 15, 2014 at 03:19 PM
C I don't know if this explains your situation but I didn't receive a water bill in November and was charged for two month's usage in December. When I called about my water bill years ago they said my consumption was normal. Depending on whether you rent your place out in the summer time your water and sewer bills are going to be around $150 to $200 per MONTH year around. Mine are anyway...
Phyllis Geisdorf January 15, 2014 at 03:29 PM
Eric, They switched billing in November to a new method and I didn't receive a bill until December either. This young man was reading from a document that stated all homeowners were charged a "flat rate" of $250 per month for "wastewater service charge". I asked him to repeat this several times and asked for a supervisor to call me confirming this…...so, I'll keep you posted. The service rep was also initially shocked by the charge until he found the flat rate paragraph!
Phyllis Geisdorf January 15, 2014 at 06:04 PM
Good news to report….just spoke with water co. supervisor…rep I spoke to earlier is new. There is no "flat fee" and new fee for January and the rest of the year should be significantly lower than the $250 monthly charge during the previous year (which was due to a running toilet). Supervisor agreed that OC is handled very differently than other communities in Cape May County and I continue to wonder WHY!
OCnjOC January 15, 2014 at 07:17 PM
The rates are approved by the NJ Public Board of Public Utilities. I had contacted them a few years back about the seasonal thing and they gave me a long explanation about having to pay for the infrastructure to cover the summer demand. Contact them at http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 02:35 AM
That is the point isn't it? Its not like we're the only shore town. As far as I know we are the only town billed for summer utilization all year long. I understand about capacity and all of that but like Phyllis I want to know why its only us. When I brought it up at the FIT meeting the response was "you have a water leak." People that don't rent during the summer don't feel the effect of it. And the second home owners have no vote. I'd like to impress on someone that we're not all millionaires.
Barbara Davis January 16, 2014 at 07:56 AM
How can we get this changed? It is totally unfair.
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 03:42 PM
I would think that city government would have to get involved in some way. The first step is calling attention to the problem. I suppose we could all descend on the next utilities commission meeting. Why local government doesn't address these kinds of things is beyond me. I was thinking we might be able to find out more about it thru the archives of the OC Sentinel. I'll look into it.
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 04:01 PM
FYI for anyone else that wants to look into this the Sentinel lost much of its archive to Sandy but the library has it and much of it is online.
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 04:52 PM
For those that might not be aware of how this works I rent a floor of my place in the summer months. I live alone the rest of the year. My water and sewer bills over a 12 month period ranged between a low of $133 and a high of $239. Most of it of is sewer. Before I moved here the water was shut off in the winter months and no one lived here. The bill was about the same. So I'm being billed something like $2,000 / year for the water and sewer I use in the 3 summer months. The sewer charge is based on utilization in the 3 summer months.
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 04:55 PM
Multiply that by the number of the rental units in Ocean City. I'm sure they put the money to good use?
steef January 16, 2014 at 05:36 PM
wow, no idea what's going on with your water bills, but mine last month, including sewer, was $51.10...
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 06:11 PM
Do you rent any part of your place out during the summer time? I investigated a possible leak with the water company and they told me my water usage is normal.
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 06:13 PM
I have two units so if there is some kind of flat fee that could be a reason (though its all on one bill.) Combined they're not much bigger than a single floor of a duplex being built today. Also explains why, until the reassessment, I was paying $8,000 / year in property taxes.
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 06:14 PM
Bigger in total area that is ...
steef January 16, 2014 at 07:47 PM
Hi Eric, i have a single family home. I live there year round. I'm guessing that duplexes etc have some sort of extra fee that I don't have to deal with. I will admit that I was originally blown away by how high my water bills were but now I see that I'm pretty lucky with it! Right now it's electricity that's killing me. Running 3 space heaters is getting pretty old.
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 08:36 PM
Its not unusual for Pete and I to talk a couple of times a week. Sometimes I call him. Other times he calls me. And I know he does that with other people too. So let me ask you. When was the last time your councilman called you to ask for your opinion on anything?
Eric Sauder January 16, 2014 at 08:42 PM
The reason why Steef is that your consumption is more or less constant throughout the year. You're not paying a premium for the spike in water usage in the summer all year long. Anyway thanks for the insight. I'd be interested in hearing from property owners that do rent their place in the summer.
Eric Sauder January 17, 2014 at 06:04 AM
OK there is information as to how this works on the City website. Also rates for 2011. You were billed $1.81 per 1,000 gallons for fresh water and $29.23 per 1,000 gallons of waste water. The months of July, August, and September are used to determine what you are billed the remainder of the year for sewer. I'm going to see if I can find sewer rates for neighboring municipalities. Waste water treatment is handled by CMCUA.
Eric Sauder January 17, 2014 at 06:27 AM
Compliments to SICTA, the FIT of SIC for the info they provided. Sewer rates for SIC are $17.01 per 1,000 gallons in the summer months and $.79 per 1,000 gallons the rest of the year.
Phyllis Geisdorf January 18, 2014 at 07:20 AM
Wow Eric, Good work! I'm planning to attend the 2/19 meeting in Ocean City with the Utilities Board. I have a copy of the CMCMUA Charge System Rate Setting Report, effective 1/1/2013 which also projects for the coming years….will bring a copy for you if you decide to attend….Councilman DeVlieger is Council's representative.

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