The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. cut the water connection at the residence of Saipan Mayor Donald Flores due to nonpayment of his water bill and possible tampering of water meter which the mayor denied yesterday.
Flores admitted to Saipan Tribune that water connection in his residence has been cut for a month now because of unresolved disputes that he filed with the utilities agency.
But he categorically denied the allegations that he tampered his meter to save on his water bill. The alleged tampering was supposedly discovered by the utilities firm.
From the average monthly water charge of over $100, Flores disclosed that CUC has been sending him billings that are way beyond the families' consumption which is $700 to $800 a month. This, he said, translates to about 6,000 gallons of the families' monthly water consumption.
He disclosed that to date, CUC wants to collect from him over $6,000 in accumulated water charges-an amount he described as extremely high for one family's consumption. The $6,000 water billing covers several months of unpaid accounts.
According to the mayor, the “high” water consumption in his residence is possibly due to undetected leaks which CUC has to check. He said the dispute he filed a few weeks ago was not the first received by CUC.
“I've been complaining about this overcharging in my water billing for about a year now, but nothing has been resolved to date. Right now, I am still waiting from CUC their action on my latest dispute-letter,” he told Saipan Tribune, adding that he is scheduled to meet with CUC officials or staff today, Aug. 3, to follow up on the matter.
Absence water from CUC, Flores said they have been buying water from commercial vendors and taking advantage of rainwater. He said it is good thing that the family has a reservoir/tank.
CUC acting executive director Alan Fletcher yesterday refused to comment on the issue, but cited that the agency is willing to sit down with the mayor to resolve the “problem.”
Fletcher also declined to comment about the “investigation” or “tampering” issue about the mayor's water consumption. For the acting executive director, it is best that the sensitive matter be discussed with the mayor privately to come up with a workable solution.
He said CUC is not open to “debate” the matter in the media because it has responsibility to fulfill to its customers and the public. He said he is looking forward to “sit down” with Flores to hear the mayor's concern.
Just recently, the Saipan Mayor's Office announced its plan to stop the free delivery of water to nonresident households on the island to save the municipality in operational cost and to help CUC as well. For those nonresidents who want to continue to avail of water delivery, a fee will be assessed by the municipality.