|Updated: 7/01 5:27 pm
||Published: 7/01 5:27 pm
Turley residents upset by bills for service
The City of Tulsa is back-billing 158 Turley residents for the past 36 months of sewer service.
FOX23 first told you about this in April after FOX23 learned several Turley residents hadn't been billed.
Now, some of those residents are refusing to pay. They said they'd rather pay legal fees.
When people in Turley move, they go to the Turley Water District to get water service. They are given a sheet that instructs them to call the City of Tulsa to set up a sewer account.
Some Turley residents told FOX23 they had no idea.
Walter Cooper has lived in his home for decades.
"Not one bill. Actually, never got a bill," he said about his sewer service.
Last week, he got a bill saying he owes more than $1,000.
"$1,101.96," he said; the bill was for the past three years.
Cooper said he had no idea he was supposed to call the city to set up a sewer bill.
Jolene Ball and her fiancé got a letter saying they owe nearly $2,000.
"Almost $1,900. I about freaked. I'm on a fixed income. I can't afford this. They want $115 a month. I can't afford $115 a month," Ball told FOX23.
John Cervantez got a bill for $51, so he called the city.
"I said, 'Hey, I don't pay sewer. I'm on a septic tank. I've been on it for 34 years,'" he said.
He said others are in the same boat. The city said it will drop the bills for those people.
"Conduct dye tests to determine whether they are, in fact, connected to City of Tulsa sewer or not," Cervantez suggested.
Even though city officials said they can set up a payment plan to pay off the back bill over the next 36 months, Ball and Cooper said they aren't going to pay it.
"I'm gonna sit back and wait and watch," said Cooper.
"Eliminate it. Bite the bullet on it, and let us go from now on," said Ball.
"The city ordinance really doesn't allow me to do that," said Mark Weather, utility services manager for the City of Tulsa.
"Turley will ultimately interrupt their water service if they fail to pay their bills," said Weather.
Ball, Cooper and several other Turley residents told FOX23 they're banding together to get a lawyer to fight it.
The city and Turley Water District have set up a new system that sends the city a report every month with everybody who has moved or set up water service.