Latta Town Council explains why they called SLED in

Council members said the reason they requested a SLED investigation is because there were more than 50 people complaining about not being charged correctly for their water bills. (Source: WMBF News)
Council members said the reason they requested a SLED investigation is because there were more than 50 people complaining about not being charged correctly for their water bills. (Source: WMBF News)

LATTA, SC (WMBF) - Latta Town Council members are opening up on why they requested the State Law Enforcement Division to look into to the town's records last month.

Council members said the reason they requested a SLED investigation is because there were more than 50 people complaining about not being charged correctly for their water bills.

"People were receiving water bills that had water meters that were not working, and in some cases, there were residents who were getting water bills and the town employees did not know where their water meters were," Latta Councilman Jarett Taylor said.

Latta Town Councilman Jarett Taylor says SLED was called in to find out what was going on.

SLED has not done a full investigation, but did perform a preliminary one, and Taylor said that preliminary investigation showed there have been inaccuracies for some water customers for several years.

"It's been going on for years and years - in excess of five years," Taylor said.

WMBF News asked Taylor if some of the townspeople had over paid for water services, and he said no.

Taylor said in the cases where meters were broken, or not able to be located by town water employee, those customers just paid a minimal water bill.

"The residents were not slighted out of any money because they were being charged the minimal water bill," Taylor said.

Taylor said if anyone took a hit because of this oversight, it was the town.

"I'm sure the town took a hit. Which is a big concern of council because we are in the process of replacing water lines and in the process of keeping our water delivery a profitable entity," Taylor said.

Taylor has spoken with the water employees to make sure this type of oversight doesn't happen again, but no one employee will be reprimanded.

"The problems that existed were not created by any one person at town hall currently, but they had been perpetuated by everyone up until that point in time," Taylor said.

Moving forward, the town council said it is making plans to repair and replace any broken water meters with in the town.

All those new meters and repairs should be complete by December.

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