Call 11 For Action helps East Toledo woman with $400 water bill

Call 11 For Action helps East Toledo woman with $400 water bill

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - How much water does your family use and what does it cost you?

An east Toledo woman says there is no way she owes what is on her bill and she turned to Call 11 For Action for help.

Jeanette Okumus lives off of her social security, so imagine what she thought when she opened her city of Toledo water bill and got a big surprise. Okumus usually pays $100 or $103 per quarter on her water bill.

But when she got home from a week-long vacation to Florida late last month, she said her bill was a whopping $404.

Okumus said, "Shock. I mean, you live here 35 years and you take care of everything yourself, you pay the bill every three months, and never miss. You pay all your bills on time and you get a bill like this. I'm thinking, what is this?"

Okumus lives alone and said she really only uses the water for a few dishes and when doing the laundry. She could not understand why her latest bill could be so high.

She contacted Call 11 For Action.

She took us down to her basement to show us the pipes and the meter and said the city sent someone out to the house, who couldn't find any leaks.

After our calls, the city's Department of Public Utilities sent her a letter confirming it received notice that she is appealing the bill and asking for an adjustment.

They have put a hold on the account and agreed to freeze the collection of payment and any late fees while it's under review.

Jeannette is hoping for a good outcome.

"I never fought for anything, but this I'm fighting for because I'm 73 years old and I'm in good shape, my health I mean, my heart, and I'm going to be here for a long time," Okumus said. "And I can't afford $404 bills. I'm sorry."

We followed up with the city Wednesday afternoon to see where this case stands. The Commissioner of the Division of Utilities Administration said Jeanette's appeal will be evaluated by an internal committee at its May 17 meeting. City spokesperson Janet Schroeder said Jeanette will be dealt with fairly.

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