A nearly $5,000 water bill issued to a disabled Fort Myers woman

City of Fort Myers to enforce $4,633 water bill
Posted at 11:31 PM, Jul 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 12:22:00-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A disabled Fort Myers woman says her nearly $5,000 water bill is a mistake, but officials with the City of Fort Myers say she has to pay up.

"June $216.00, July $4,633.11, said Sandra Rogers as she sifted through over a year worth of water bills from the City of Fort Myers.

For Rogers, the issues began with what she believed was a leaking toilet. She told Four In Your Corner she had the toilet repaired after her bill jumped from $149 in May to $216.00 in June. However in July the her bill jumped even more to $5,000

"I thought this is impossible," said Rogers. The disabled, retired social worker says the statement nearly sent her to the hospital.

According to a city spokesperson, Rogers notified the city of her leaky toilet on July 13th; the same day she reportedly contacted the city about her high bill. 

"It almost caused me to go into the hospital with a heart attack. I had to call my daughters to talk to me" said Rogers.

Complications from heart failure, along with painful diabetic nerve damage on her foot prevent her from working. Rogers is on fixed income, and her water bill is more than 4 times higher than what she makes in a month.

"I have no where to go if my water gets cut off. I looked it up online and you cannot stay in your home if your water is off," said Rogers.

She called Bruno Air to check for a leak, but they didn't find one. They suggested she call the city to check her meter, which states Rogers used close to 140,000 gallons of water.

That works out to nearly 200 gallons used per hour over a 30-day period.

"Why would you let my bill get to 140,000 gallons of water," said Rogers.

Four In Your Corner took her question to city officials. In an email a spokesperson for the city said a letter was sent to Rogers home on May 2nd when her meter reading was significantly higher than the previous month.

"I got the letter the same day I got my bill," said Rogers.

The excessively high bill is due in 8 days. Rogers says she's almost positive her meter is wrong.

 "If my water gets cut off I don't know where I would go," said Rogers, as tears streamed down her face. 

A city spokesperson told Four In Your Corner someone would inspect Mrs. Rogers meter this week.