CUC: Public hospital made only 2 payments for utility arrears

A Commonwealth Utilities Corp. official said that the public hospital, one of its biggest customers, made only two payments since the start of the fiscal year, resulting in the Commonwealth Health Center’s nearly $500,000 arrears with the utilities company.

CUC chief financial officer Charles Warren made the clarification in reaction to claims by Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief financial officer Alvaro Santos that the corporation was surprised to get a $491,000 billing from CUC for June alone.

Warren confirmed yesterday that hospital’s June billing is correct.

He also said that CHC reduced its kilowatt-hour consumption by about 100,000 kWh from May to June.

He said CUC billed the corporation about $315,000 for June compared to $368,000 for May. However, water and sewer consumption increased from May to June by about $19,000, Warren said.

Alvaro earlier said that the corporation will seek an explanation about the “too high” utility billing. Warren said yesterday they have yet to hear from the corporation.

“CHC is welcome to use the dispute resolution process available to all CUC customers when they receive bills they feel are incorrect. To date, I’m not aware of any formal billing disputes being filed,” he said.

Based on CUC records, the corporation owes $3.266 million in unpaid utility obligation plus late fees.

Warren confirmed that the corporation has remitted only about $448,000 against charges of $3.6 million.

Records obtained by Saipan Tribune showed the following monthly billings of the corporation: $418,240 in October 2011; $749,160 in November 2011; $1,077,477 in December 2011; $1,573,405 in January 2012; and $2,035,217 in February 2012; $2,284,203 in March 2012; $2,712,097 in April 2012; $2,991,568 in May 2012; and $3,266,910 in June 2012.

Records show that the corporation made only two payments of $231,844.33 on May 8 and $216,000 on June 8.

Prior to these two payments, the hospital’s total arrears totaled $3.6 million, of which $103,329 represented late fees.

By Moneth Deposa

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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