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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor Being Billed For Water, Sewer and Refuse While House Sits Empty

Being Billed For Water, Sewer and Refuse While House Sits Empty

Dear Editor,
I'd like to comment on the fact that although something has always been done this way, in my opinion, doesn't necessarily make it right.  So please allow me to vent...
What I'm referring to to is being billed for water, sewer & refuse at my beach house while it sits empty this winter; as it has each year since 1997. I've just opened the February bill and once again see that even though my house has been unoccupied with the water cut off (by me, for safety), I've been billed over $64. To add insult to injury is the fact that included in the bill the Town of Carolina Beach also charged for Sewer usage, even though (of course) there was none.  While I realize (and agree) that these services cannot be provided for free, whether they are used or not, I find it hard to understand the rational for billing someone for sewer usage when there was NO water even used at the residence. I think it would be much fairer for anyone in Carolina Beach, for whatever reason, who used no water during a billing cycle to only be billed a REASONABLE flat fee (and $64 ain't it!). 
While this is not a lot of money, it's the principal of the matter to me.  I pay town and county taxes annually and have no complaint, yet we're only there maybe 70-80 days a year; so don't talk to me about overuse of roads or services. 
And while we're on reasonable fees... I learned a few months ago that Carolina Beach was stopping the "early bird" discount ($60) that had been offered for annual Freeman Park passes and moving it to a flat fee of $100. 
My question is this, "why are tax paying citizens of Carolina Beach even paying the full price for these passes anyway?"  I can't say that I'm surprised; they've had this cash cow put in their laps, and they are going to milk it for all it's worth. 
I'm sure they'll say the fees are such because of all the costs involved to "maintain & police" the area.  But, I can't see where a couple of trash cans every few hundred feet, a few trailers of Porto johns over the 2 +/- mile stretch and a couple of policemen in trucks riding back and forth come anywhere near costing what they will take in on an annual basis. While it may already exist, I'd really like to see a profit and loss based on Freeman Park income only. 
My guess is that it would show that the fees collected more than cover the expenses with a tidy profit going back into the general fund. 
Regarding utilities, there are probably hundreds of families who own residences in Carolina Beach that experience this same "gouging" several months out of the year and my guess is that most would agree, just be fair with your fees.
As for Freeman Park passes, be fair to all your tax paying citizens as well.
Tim Barbour
Carolina Beach, NC