Columbia resident to express utility services concerns at city council

1 year 6 months 4 days ago Monday, October 17 2016 Oct 17, 2016 Monday, October 17, 2016 6:51:00 PM CDT October 17, 2016 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
MEXICO, Mo. – Approximately one year after President Trump took office, the lives of DACA recipients hang in the balance.... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, April 22 2018 Apr 22, 2018 Sunday, April 22, 2018 7:35:00 PM CDT April 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The official weather station on MU's Campus at Sanborn Field is “completely destroyed” after a vandalism incident either... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, April 22 2018 Apr 22, 2018 Sunday, April 22, 2018 7:29:00 PM CDT April 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Heavy flames billowed right behind the Aldi on Green Meadows Road Sunday as fire destroyed a delivery truck.... More >>
8 hours ago Sunday, April 22 2018 Apr 22, 2018 Sunday, April 22, 2018 5:48:00 PM CDT April 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Area Earth Day Festival featured local vendors, food trucks and live music Sunday. The festival... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, April 22 2018 Apr 22, 2018 Sunday, April 22, 2018 4:20:00 PM CDT April 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - An electronic music festival by the name "Boonphoria" has attendees wondering if the event was just a money... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, April 22 2018 Apr 22, 2018 Sunday, April 22, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT April 22, 2018 in News
ELDON - Flags are at half staff all throughout Miller County, as residents honor the life of Deputy Casey Shoemate.... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, April 22 2018 Apr 22, 2018 Sunday, April 22, 2018 3:39:00 PM CDT April 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A local organization sought to raise awareness about renewable energy by having people exert some. Renew Missouri,... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, April 22 2018 Apr 22, 2018 Sunday, April 22, 2018 6:31:00 AM CDT April 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Friday was the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, and on Saturday, members of the Jefferson City community... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 10:03:00 PM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R- Harrisonville announced the winner of her annual congressional art competition Saturday afternoon. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 4:29:00 PM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members took laps around the MizzouRec Saturday to raise money for Relay For Life of Mizzou’s main event,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 3:14:00 PM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
LAKE OZARK - For the past five years, Osage Heritage Elementary has hosted a Color Run to raise funds for... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 1:29:00 PM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A former St. Louis-area teacher will be on five years of probation for having sex with a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 8:43:59 AM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
UNIVERSITY CITY (AP) — A former St. Louis-area day care teaching assistant has been found guilty of molesting a 5-year-old... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 8:40:09 AM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -- Firefighters responded to a structure fire in the 100 block of E. Ashley St. at 11:08 p.m.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 6:27:00 AM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri legislators approved numerous changes Thursday to local elections, including allowing voters to request absentee ballots... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, April 21 2018 Apr 21, 2018 Saturday, April 21, 2018 5:27:13 AM CDT April 21, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Casey Shoemate, a 26-year-old Miller County sheriff's deputy, died Friday night after colliding head-on with another vehicle... More >>
2 days ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 10:05:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Retailer Sears will close its Columbia Mall store this summer because the location has become unprofitable. Sears Director... More >>
2 days ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 8:46:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- A local non-profit organization, Columbia Access Television, hosted a 24-hour film contest that started Friday at 5:30 pm. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, April 20 2018 Apr 20, 2018 Friday, April 20, 2018 7:13:00 PM CDT April 20, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 55°
3am 54°
4am 54°
5am 53°
6am 52°