Martinez homeowner to receive sewer payments refund

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A Martinez man who paid Columbia County for sewer service for 20 years will get all of his money back, the Columbia County Commission had decided.

William Jenkins, a resident of the West Lake subdivision, will receive the $5,000 he paid to Columbia County Water Utility for sewer service he didn't need, or use, because he only recently discovered he has a septic tank.

He found this out after experiencing plumbing trouble earlier this year. When he bought the home, Jenkins said, he assumed it was on the county sewer system because he lives on Stevens Creek Road.

Officials said the county is liable only for up to four years of payments. Still, Water Utility Director Bill Clayton said his office offered Jenkins $3,000, which was double the cost Jenkins said he incurred in fixing his plumbing problems.

However, Jenkins, who didn't attend the Thursday meeting, wanted all his money back.

"Why should one party (benefit) and the other party suffer?" he asked county Public Works Committee members last week.

In that same meeting, Clayton noted it was Jenkins' responsibility to know whether he had a septic tank.

"There has to be some limitation at some point in time to the point of forever," Clayton said of fully reimbursing Jenkins.

However, commissioners sided with Jenkins.

"I think this is the right thing to do," commission Chairman Ron Cross said of reimbursing Jenkins for all his payments. "I don't think there should be a statute of limitations on errors."

Sewer payments are calculated based on water usage during the winter months, not actual sewer usage. Jenkins does have water service through the county.

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msgret92 07/07/11 - 07:59 pm
Good move by the commission.

Good move by the commission. How many more are paying and not receiving service, or receiving service and not paying for it?

Willow Bailey
Willow Bailey 07/07/11 - 08:08 pm
Probably every homeowner

Probably every homeowner whose property is located on the West Lake golf course on Evans to Lock Road should check their bills as a lot of those homes have septic tanks.

Sweet son
Sweet son 07/07/11 - 08:58 pm
They should pay him and give

They should pay him and give him double his sewage back! LOL I remember a trash service years ago advertised on it't trucks 'satisfaction guaranteed or double your garbage back.'

nothin2show4it 07/07/11 - 10:31 pm
"In that same meeting,

"In that same meeting, Clayton noted it was Jenkins' responsibility to know whether he had a septic tank." Bill if you worked for me you would find yourself in the unemployment line for a comment like that.

Can someone explain to me why is is my responsibility to keep my government from cheating me? CC should know who is hooked up and who isn't and if they don't know then they had better find out. This is inexcusable. Jenkins shouldn't have had to ask for his money back. Who really is the one who suffered here. NOT CC!!!!!

Just goes to show you, you can't even trust the local government let alone the State or Federal.

But I am glad to see that Ron Cross did the right thing in the end.

emergencyfan 07/08/11 - 09:17 am
That kind of information is

That kind of information is usually disclosed when you buy your house. I'm wondering if his paperwork stated septic tank?

bjenkins1936 07/12/11 - 11:51 am
When I purchased my house,

When I purchased my house, the previous owner provided a list showing his utility bills, and he also had been paying sewage fees. Further, the plat for my property does not show a septic tank. I think most homeowners do as I did--you apply for county water utility services, and pay the bill they send you without question.

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