Chattanooga woman on disability saddled with $300 sewer bill

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Chattanoogans have been saddled with increasingly high sewer bills over the last few months.

Amy Smith, a woman who lives on disability checks, is just the latest victim of these bills. She says that her latest water bill was an astonishing $300 a month, an amount that she says is way out of her budget.

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“I can’t read, I was hit in the eye. I’ve been on a check all my life. I’m going to be on one until the day the good Lord takes me. But I take any money and try to pay bills. I had a $500 light bill, that’s got to be paid. Then they ask me for $300? What I got left?” Smith asks.

She says that she couldn’t get any help, and everywhere she looked, she was turned away.

So, she says she had no choice but to call News 12 to hopefully get some answers.

“When you call for help, they’re going to tell you that everybody has a sewer bill here. When I went to the project for help, they told me I had to pay the bill off before I can get any help. I can’t get any help anywhere. I can’t get anything, so I had to call you.”

City Councilman Anthony Byrd, who represents Smith’s district, says that the issue has been ongoing and that he’s working with Chattanooga city council to get some relief out to residents.

“If I can get those bills in I’m going to look at them and see what the issue is but I’m also working on some type of resolution or some type of financial help that we can give, maybe even like a one time bailout because of Covid and things that went on. But we got to find some ways to help give people some relief from this sewage bill,” explains Councilman Byrd.

Byrd says that he was unsure what was causing the high bills, and that it could be anything from water pipe leakage to unpaid bills from previous months adding up.