Highland Park residents receive water bills after not paying anything for 1 year

Some Highland Park residents have received bills for thousands of dollars

Author: Jay Kuhlman
Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:32:08 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 08 2013 07:05:24 PM EST
Highland Park water problems
HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. -

Residents in Highland Park have been buying water from the city for more than a year, but the city hadn't sent out any water bills until now.

Mary Lyles said she boils some water every day and puts it in her fridge because the water in the city doesn't appear to be particularly good.

Related: Highland Park now using Detroit water

"It didn't taste right to me and it wasn't real clear," said Lyles.

Now, after using the city's water service for more than a year, she's suddenly getting a bill for $1,600. The bill also warned that if payment wasn't received in a month, the price would go up to $1,800.

"My blood pressure went up. I was teed! Cause I didn't think it was fair. Send us a bill for $1,800," said Lyles.

Lyles called her daughter for some help to figure out what had happened.

"I called city hall," said Lyles' daughter, Queen Lyles. "They informed me whoever was managing the department is no longer there and it's all fallen by the wayside."

There is a payment plan available for residents, but Mary had set aside some money for the long overdue water bills assuming they would come at some point.

"It's wrong, and it's not fair. The mayor should do a better job, and he don't; at least everybody up there in city hall ought to do better," said Lyles.

The mayor's office did not return phone calls from Local 4, but it has acknowledge the water department fell down on the job and it is willing to work with residents to get the bills paid.