Jersey Village to preemptively adjust water bills for residents who experienced leaks during storm

Jersey Village residents who experienced pipe leaks during Winter Storm Uri in February will have their water bills preemptively adjusted to amounts representing their average water use. (Courtesy Pexels)
Jersey Village residents who experienced pipe leaks during Winter Storm Uri in February will have their water bills preemptively adjusted to amounts representing their average water use. (Courtesy Pexels)

Jersey Village residents who experienced pipe leaks during Winter Storm Uri in February will have their water bills preemptively adjusted to amounts representing their average water use. (Courtesy Pexels)

Jersey Village residents who experienced pipe leaks during Winter Storm Uri in February will have their water bills preemptively adjusted to amounts representing their average water use after the Jersey Village City Council authorized the city's finance director to do so at a March 4 emergency meeting.

The city typically offers residents the ability to have their bills adjusted if they submit a form saying they had a leak, but City Manager Austin Bleess said it made sense to perform some adjustments automatically in light of the storm. The preemptive adjustments will be made for all residents whose bills were higher than average by 5,000 gallons or more, which Bleess estimated would affect a little more than 300 people. Some bills were up by as much as 24,000 gallons, he said.

"It relieves them of some of the headache and the paperwork process,” Bleess said at the March 4 meeting.

The city will automatically adjust bills for those people, and others who did not reach that 5,000-gallon threshold can still reach out using the typical system for adjustments if they had a leak, Bleess said.

The City Council opened the floor to citizen comments prior to the motion, but no members of the public signed up to speak. The city could potentially take a $20,000 hit from the adjustments based on the cost the city pays for wholesale water. In supporting the motion, Council Member Bobby Warren said $20,000 was "a nominal amount considering the pain and the staff time it would take to process all the requests."


Bleess said he asked the North Harris County Regional Water Authority to waive its fees. The NHCRWA was established by state law in 1999 to oversee projects that will help convert parts of north Harris County from groundwater to surface water. The agency is funded by fees charged to member cities and municipal utility districts. At the time of the storm, the authority's rates were set at $4.25 per 1,000 gallons for groundwater and $4.70 per 1,000 gallons for surface water.

When reached for comment March 5, an official with the NHCRWA's emergency phone service said the authority has been experiencing high call volumes and could not immediately provide information on whether it plans to waive fees. This article will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

The Houston City Council is expected to take up water bills at its March 8 meeting. However, officials with the Houston Public Works Department have told people to pay what they paid on their previous bills until automatic adjustments are applied. In Pearland, city officials agreed to bill residents the lesser of last year's usage or this year's usage for their February bills.

Water payments are due on or before the 25th of each month in Jersey Village.
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

The convenience store chain is known for its Slurpees and self-serve soda fountains. (Courtesy 7-Eleven)
7-Eleven, Laredo Taco Company now open at Hwy. 249, Spring Cypress

The new location features a fueling station, car wash and beer cave.

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

More than 20 countries, including Denmark, participate in CETUSA. (Courtesy CETUSA)
Foreign exchange student program seeks host families

CETUSA is a nonprofit foreign exchange program for high school students.

The Backyard Grill opened in 2001 and continues to offer burgers, sandwiches, wings, tacos, seafood and more at its Jones Road restaurant. (Courtesy The Backyard Grill)
The Backyard Grill celebrates 20 years of business in Cy-Fair

The Backyard Grill opened in 2001 and continues to offer burgers, sandwiches, wings, tacos, seafood and more at its Jones Road restaurant.

ribbon cutting
Nearly $400M project to boost Houston-area water supply by up to 500M gallons a day

The project has been in development for over 50 years and broke ground in 2017.

Lone Star College has been approved for additional baccalaureate programs following House Bill 3348 being signed June 16. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College approved for additional baccalaureate programs

Lone Star College can now have up to five bachelor programs, up from its current three.

Following Hurricane Harvey, debris lined the streets in many parts of Harris County. (Danica Lloyd/Community Impact Newspaper)
After Department of Housing and Urban Development denies request, Texas General Land Office drafting plan to subaward Harris County $750M for flood mitigation

The Texas General Land Office now plans to subaward Harris County flood mitigation funding after the county was left out of recent Hurricane Harvey relief funds.

A house in the Balmoral development in Kingwood.
2,300 homes slated along FM 2920 in Hockley

Land Tejas will construct 2,300 new homes in a 646-acre development in Hockley.

The pizza and pasta eatery is opening this fall. (Courtesy Russo’s New York Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen)
Russo’s New York Pizzeria & Italian Kitchen coming soon to Bridgeland

The eatery specializes in New York-style pizza, but calzones, pasta, deli sandwiches, salads and soups are also on the menu.

Harris County Pets facilitates pet adoptions, foster placements and more. (Courtesy Harris County Pets)
Harris County Pets temporarily waives adoption fees to control increase of population

Harris County Pets has exceeded its capacity to house its growing pet population, officials said.

Masterpiece Desserts is opening in late June with plans for a grand opening in late July. (Courtesy Masterpiece Desserts)
Masterpiece Desserts to open Cy-Fair storefront this month

This is the first brick-and-mortar location for the business, which specializes in miniature cheesecakes.