Columbia resident to express utility services concerns at city council

8 months 4 days 6 hours ago October 17, 2016 Oct 17, 2016 Monday, October 17 2016 Monday, October 17, 2016 6:51:00 PM CDT in News
By: Joe Gjata, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – One Columbia resident plans to raise issues concerning utility billing and give suggestions to Columbia Water and Light regarding improved customer service at Monday's city council meeting.

Tom Devlin, an army veteran and longtime Columbia resident, said his concerns include security deposit refunds, improvement of complaint procedures and elimination of the tier structure for electric rates.

“I think that a flat rate would be much more equitable to the citizens because it would be easier to understand and cause less confusion,” Devlin said.

He added the change to a flat rate could be cheaper for individual homes.

However, second ward city councilman Michael Trapp said the city has a purpose behind the tiered system.

“Tiered center billing is really integral to our nature as a city who prides ourselves on conservation,” he said. “With most electricity, the more you use the less you pay because it takes the same amount of infrastructure to bring that electricity to your home... But in our utility, the more you use the more you pay, because we value conservation,” Trapp said.

Devlin said he agrees with conservation efforts, but he believes those initiatives are already taking place.

“There has been a 20 percent decrease in consumption over the last five years, so the conservation is already there,” Devlin said.

Trapp said the city’s goal is to focus long term. Therefore, the need for conservation is never-ending.

“We want people to cut back on uses,” he said. “We build electrical systems based on usage, and it makes more sense for those who use energy during peak time to pay more for their energy usage.”

Devlin also plans suggest a consumer complaint board to handle customer issues with Water and Light. He mentioned he has had some frustrating experiences trying to communicate with the department.

“It was frustrating because I had trouble contacting a customer service rep and never was able to speak to a person,” Devlin said.

Trapp said the utility billing software system the city is using is new and a work in progress.

“They changed what the bills looked like, and we received a large barrage of calls,” he added.

Trapp mentioned there were some mistakes in transitioning over, and everything was not handled perfectly.

“We are working to make all of our city services more accessible by phone,” Trapp said. “Our goal is to have a contact center where we’ll only have one phone number for almost all of our routine business.”

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Friendly fire is blamed in the injury to a St. Louis police officer. Officers were... More >>
23 minutes ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 1:13:39 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say one man has been killed and another wounded in a St. Louis shooting. ... More >>
27 minutes ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 1:09:35 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say a postal employee from Kansas City has pleaded guilty to stealing mail. The... More >>
29 minutes ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 1:07:40 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police now say a possible hostage situation is the reason for a heavy police presence near Bethel... More >>
44 minutes ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 12:52:00 PM CDT in News
NETTLETON (AP) — A new MFA Inc. grain-handling facility has opened in northwest Missouri, ending a five-year effort to find... More >>
59 minutes ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 12:37:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man is charged with giving a 7-year-old a pack of gum to pose... More >>
1 hour ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 11:42:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The woman who dissappeared in Camden County is in custody on Thursday of the Leclede County Jail for... More >>
1 hour ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 11:38:56 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former Missouri church youth leader has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for... More >>
2 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 11:15:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A Boone County man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly trying to meet an underage girl for sex. ... More >>
2 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 10:48:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge in St. Louis is set to hear an update on the progress Ferguson,... More >>
7 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 6:20:46 AM CDT in News
Update: Ms. Rogers has been located and is safe. LEBANON - The ex-husband of a missing woman was briefly... More >>
12 hours ago June 22, 2017 Jun 22, 2017 Thursday, June 22 2017 Thursday, June 22, 2017 1:05:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A new house built by River City Habitat for Humanity is giving Monica Smith and her family... More >>
17 hours ago June 21, 2017 Jun 21, 2017 Wednesday, June 21 2017 Wednesday, June 21, 2017 8:22:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Missourians were among the crowds gathered Wednesday for a rally by President Donald Trump in Des Moines, Iowa.... More >>
18 hours ago June 21, 2017 Jun 21, 2017 Wednesday, June 21 2017 Wednesday, June 21, 2017 6:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - With summer temperatures rising, local law enforcement is urging people not to leave young children unattended in hot... More >>
19 hours ago June 21, 2017 Jun 21, 2017 Wednesday, June 21 2017 Wednesday, June 21, 2017 6:19:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Planned Parenthood supporters around the country, including in Columbia, rallied Wednesday night to show their opposition to the... More >>
19 hours ago June 21, 2017 Jun 21, 2017 Wednesday, June 21 2017 Wednesday, June 21, 2017 5:51:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A lawmaker says Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens will sign his bill to ban people convicted of... More >>
19 hours ago June 21, 2017 Jun 21, 2017 Wednesday, June 21 2017 Wednesday, June 21, 2017 5:41:35 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia will hold a meeting on East Neighborhood to hear from residents about their concerns.... More >>
20 hours ago June 21, 2017 Jun 21, 2017 Wednesday, June 21 2017 Wednesday, June 21, 2017 5:29:00 PM CDT in News
SEDALIA (AP) — A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty in the arson death of a Sedalia man. Aran... More >>
21 hours ago June 21, 2017 Jun 21, 2017 Wednesday, June 21 2017 Wednesday, June 21, 2017 4:11:40 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
2pm 83°
3pm 84°
4pm 85°
5pm 87°