Billing mistakes cost City of Warsaw $155K in revenues

A pair of billing mistakes associated with software will cost Warsaw about $155,000 in revenues to the wastewater department.

The two issues surfaced this week and were discussed Friday at the Warsaw Board of Works and Safety meeting.

One involved bills associated with a residential subdivision known as Shadow Lakes, which was recently annexed into the city.

Somehow, the software was not updated and the city was not collecting a monthly $8.85 charge for stormwater service over the last three months. That case cost the city about $318.

The other, bigger problem involved the way the city was billing apartment units, which changed this year.

Rebecca Jenkins, from the clerk-treasurer’s office, estimated the city lost out on $150,000 to $160,000 in revenue.

That happened after the city enacted a new approach to billing that switched from a flat rate to one calculated  on usage.

In doing so, a base charge of $8.21 was supposed to be assigned to each apartment, but instead the fee was only charged for each apartment building.

In both instances, the board of works, following  past precedent, and voted not to attempt to collect the fees from customers, known as “back billing.”

However, city attorney Michael Valentine and Mayor Joe Thallemer said Friday they would seek reimbursement from the software company.

Thallemer said the billing mistake will not affect the proposed rate structure for a second sewer rate hike that city council is studying.