The city of Cisco is now missing thousands of dollars from their funds because of an error in their system. Some of the city’s customers were not billed the correct amount for their water usage.
The city just received their audit Monday for the October 2012 to September 2013 budget year and it revealed some major discrepancies because of wrong water meter readings. More than $84,000 is currently missing. According to the audit, billing adjustments were made because of negative meter readings being sent to customers.
Mayor James King explained the problem begins with incorrect meter reads, which transfers to the billing system, giving incorrect bill amounts.
“If they don’t get a read the first time they pass by a meter, they have to go back and manually read it,” said King. “If those re-reads aren’t entered correctly, it can create discrepancies in our system.”
He explained how the meters are read electronically through a laptop, but sometimes the laptop doesn’t connect to the meter.
“If you drive through the area too fast, it can’t do all the transmitting so they have to then go back and check those meters again,” said King.
In addition to upgrading their equipment, the city is bringing in representatives from billing software company to re-train the employees who use it. The city will also check the current water meters for issues such as battery replacements, and make additional changes as needed.
King said the city is working to fix the issue and just wants their customers to be well taken care of.
“We’re just going to try to correct the computer system to have accurate bills and that’s all we can do at this point,” said King. “We need to make sure that our customers are getting billed for the right amount of water that they’re using.”
He said if any customers have questions about their bill to bring it to city hall with any questions they might have. King additionally stated that the city has hired an outside attorney to investigate the loss of the funds. If disciplinary action needs to be taken, it will be taken after the investigation is finished.