UPDATE: Grovetown Mayor, Gary Jones, denies threatening a resident after an uproar involving sewer fees.
Mayor Jones posted on his official Facebook page that he never exhibited bully like behavior and it was Mr. Foti who was disruptive during a public meeting requiring law enforcement intervention.
Mario Foti told NewsChannel 6 in an earlier report, he plans to sue the city of Grovetown because of what he believes are unfair billing practices regarding water bills. On those bills residents are charged for water usage, sewer rates and a storm water fee.
Foti says, the sewer rate portion is highly inflated and not a true representation of water that his family uses that actually goes down the drain. He tells us, most of his water usage is absorbed by his soil when he runs his sprinklers.
The Grovetown resident has asked the Mayor to place a secondary meter, an irrigation meter, on his water line to prove how much water is going down the drain. Foti says Mayor Jones outright denied that request.
Mayor Jones added in his post, he never agreed or denied the request but that it was a matter that needed to be brought before council because it would involve a change in ordinance.
GROVETOWN, Ga. (WJBF) – Legal action may be taken against the city of Grovetown after one homeowner says the city is committing theft.
The homeowner believes he’s being charged double on his water and sewer bill.
For as long as the city has known, Grovetown has always linked their water and sewer bills, but now some homeowners want to pay it separate. They say they are using this bill to pay off city debt.
Homeowner, Mario Foti, says, “sewer fees are supposed to be the fees that you pay that goes down the drain, to the water treatment plant, cleaned, recycled and sent back to the city, and they have estimated that 82.5% of the water that you use is being cleaned and being sent back.”
Winter is a time when homeowners don’t water their grass often. That’s when Foti and his family came to Grovetown. With seasonal changes, he noticed a significant difference in his water bill which made him look twice.
Grovetown City Administrator, John Waller, says, “he wants to use a lot of water to water his lawn and because sewer and water fees are linked. He’s incurring a higher sewer bill than he’d like based on the fact that it’s not going down the sewer.”
Foti requested another water irrigation meter to measure only his water usage. Waller says, if one person gets it, then everyone does.
“They’re playing this game that, if we give it to you we have to give it to everybody. That’s literally what John Waller said to me,” says Foti.
Waller told NewsChannel 6, “if every single person got a second water meter, is that going to have potentially a negative revenue effect on the city? Because we are not getting the sewer revenue we used to get.”
Foti believes the city is stealing from residents.
Foti plans to file a class action law suit against the city. He started a petition on social media and gathered over 250 signatures in one week.
“I’m the new young blood in Grovetown, and I’m not afraid of mayor Gary Jones and his threatening fashion,” says Foti. “If he wants to threaten me with jail time because I’m bringing up factual evidence that he’s stealing money and the hundreds of thousands of dollars range from the citizens of Grovetown then we’ll let a legal court decide.”
NewsChannel 6 reached out to Grovetown’s mayor Gary Jones who says he doesn’t want to comment on this matter anymore in case the homeowner takes legal action.