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After water bill blunders Petersburg residents ‘cautiously optimistic’

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PETERSBURG, Va. –  Petersburg residents will soon receive new utility bills that are part of a multiple-step process to get an accurate bill after the city converted to a new system.

"You shouldn't be paying anymore this month then you paid last month or even the previous month,” said Daniel Harrison, Petersburg Interim Public Works Director.

Starting May 2, utility bills will be mailed out to Petersburg homeowners,  that are an estimated bill for the combined months of March and April.

"You'll see the sewer and the tax, the refuse is the same,” Harrison said.

Then in May, what is expected to be the last estimated bill will go out.

"So one more estimated monthly [bill]],” Harrison said. “We're simultaneously reading meters, and then we're going to check the data to make sure it looks okay, and then the next bill should be an actual bill."

The true actual usage bill will be for the month of June and also coincides with the new monthly billing cycle. Harrison said that during this time frame meters will continue to be read and the data tested.

"That very first reading was the baseline, the second reading is like the baseline for the usage and then you get another reading, look at the data, then you send out the bill,” Harrison said.

And at this point all 12,500 meters have been checked, and they were installed correctly for the most part, Harrison said.

Regardless, some of the homeowners said they're still frustrated this entire experience has taken so long to be resolved. Many haven’t had bills or they have been grossly incorrect.

But when residents heard June’s bill may be an actual meter reading, they were  cautiously optimistic.

"I'm willing to wait and see what June has to say, and keep an open mind that they're trying to do the best they can but it's still a problem as far as we're concerned,” said Beverly Nevetral.

"I'm hoping in June it will clear it up and it will be lower,” said Shirley Junior.