Elizabeth City citizens voice scathing remarks over power bill problems

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Concerned citizens returned to Monday’s city council meeting, criticizing leaders for the ongoing power bill problems.

“I’ve been run around and run around in so many circles,” said Leslie Cornett. “They are not doing something right and I just don’t know what it is.”

Several people made their voices heard at the podium, detailing their particular problems. For weeks, 10 On Your Side has been telling you about people reporting sky high bills riddled with errors and confusing fees.

Elizabeth City resident: ‘My energy bills are higher than my rent!’

City Manager Richard Olson has stated the problems occurred when the city switched from its longtime software program, Logics, to Edmunds. The city is now in the process of reverting back to Logics as a solution.

During the public hearing, citizens questioned whether that was really the problem. Bridget Colbert, who organized the group “Enough is Enough” read a letter she obtained, written from the Edmunds’ CEO to Olson.

The memo, dated April 21, requests $65,000, and blames the city’s utility staff for its issues.

“There are numerous and well documented areas of poor decisions by E-City staff and lack of management involvement until resident’s uproar,” the letter states.

Among the listed allegations is the following: “E-City continually stopped progress because Edmunds does not permit unaudited data manipulation like their legacy system. An example, and primary reason they wanted to continue taking the meter reads into legacy system, is so they could modify a customer’s meter read without a transaction showing who changed it and what the original read was.”

Olson did not address the letter during the meeting and told 10 On Your Side he was not able to comment for legal reasons. He did, however, provide an update on the utility situation during the meeting.

He stated that customer service staff have been instructed to work on establishing payment plans for citizens. Payments made prior to March 31 have been reverted from Edmunds to Logics.

He said average March bills are $210.55, similarly to that of last year. Penalties are being forgiven for charges from Dec. 1 to July.

During the meeting, council members unanimously voted in favor of scheduling a town hall meeting where citizens can further discuss their concerns. The meeting will be scheduled to take place within the next seven business days.