‘I want the problem fixed’: Birmingham mayor applying new pressure to water works after WBRC reporting
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin Tuesday night made his strongest comments yet about ongoing problems at the Birmingham Water Works uncovered by a 6 On Your Side Investigation.
“The water works has a billing problem,” Woodfin said. “They have an efficiency problem, they have a customer service problem. There’s a breach somewhere, there’s a breakdown somewhere, and the result of this is that customers, seniors, elders are not receiving bills or receiving bills that are at an astronomical number that is wrong.”
We broke the story last week of three employees in the utility’s purchasing department all retiring suddenly on the same day after our sources say the utility discovered improper purchasing activity and possible kickbacks.
This comes on top of months of customer complaints that they’re either not getting a bill at all, or getting a bill that’s inaccurate and way too high.
The mayor’s been calling the water works board out on his social media pages since WBRC reported on the latest purchasing problems last week, and Tuesday night said he’s tired of hearing from frustrated customers.
“It’s unfair, and it’s a burden and it’s stressful and painful, and they’re not deserving of that. Their customers, many of their customers are city of Birmingham residents and I represent them and I will continue to advocate on their behalf for a more efficient system. I don’t care what adult is responsible, I want it handled, I want the problem fixed and the customer taken care of, and that’s not negotiable. At a certain point, talking doesn’t work. it’s gonna require action. But let’s be clear: my desire is simple and only one thing. Dear Birmingham Water Works, take care of your customers, that’s it.”
Here is our reporting on how the Birmingham Water Works doesn’t make money off of more than 41% of the water it treats
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