Charlotte County tops list of highest water bills in 2015
PORT CHARLOTTE – Charlotte County is topping a list of the areas in Florida with the highest water bills in 2015, according to an analysis conducted by LawnStarter.
The lawn service company’s study says the annual bill in Charlotte County was $545.52 for 60,000 gallons of water, almost double the state average.
“On the average, if I’m watering my garden or watering my plants, I’m paying $45 a month,” said resident Maria Peallottillo. “I mean we have plenty of water, it’s not like we’re lacking water.”
“Like so many other things now a days, it always falls on the little guy,” said Sandy Beenoit.
Charlotte County says there are a few factors contributing to the high rate. The county’s operating costs are higher because it has an outside supplier, Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority. Operating costs are also spread over fewer customers per mile compared to typical utilities.
The county says it is also paying off debt dating back to the 1980s from General Development Utilities.
Charlotte County adds they believe the study overestimated the amount of water people actually use, meaning most bills are usually lower.
Most Charlotte County residents agree, however, they’d like to see their bills shrink.
“We want low, we want them to do things that are right, have good water but not pay exorbitant prices,” Michael Gordon said.
The City of Cape Coral in Lee County is also on the list’s top 5, with an average annual water bill of $441.84.