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Still no answers from Plaquemine officials on high utility bills

PLAQUEMINE - The City of Plaquemine is still trying to sort out a utility problem after multiple residents complained about inaccurate and high bills.

2 On Your Side reported on the high rates at the beginning of July. City officials said the issue was resolved, but residents lined up at the podium with their bills on Tuesday night during a special meeting called by Mayor Ed Reeves, who was not in attendance. 

Plaquemine resident Sherry Songy says her utility bills have been high since 2020, with some reaching the thousands. Songy says when she’s approached city staff, the questions are often brushed off or left unanswered.

"Well, first they tell you, you've got a water leak,” Songy said. “When you say no I've had a plumber out they say oh you have a gas leak. Then they're other go-to is you either pay the bill or it gets disconnected."

Tuesday night, folks thought they would get answers from the mayor and city officials, but nothing was resolved. Selectman for District 6 Natasha Johnson says she's gotten plenty of calls from folks complaining about their high bills.

During the meeting, Johnson was asking residents how she could help. In the past, 2 On Your Side was told the bills were affected by one meter reader who no longer works for the city. Johnson says by relying on meter readers, the city is bound to experience human error.

For those who have tried to have their bills adjusted, Johnson says there’s another obstacle: the mayor has deemed himself the only person who can grant an adjustment in Plaquemine.

“Even if the people would go and see the young ladies in city light and water, they can't give an adjustment until they report it to him," Johnson said.

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