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Niles mayor addresses recent concerns over residents’ utility bills

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Some customers said their bills are higher this summer, but the mayor said rates haven't really gone up

NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – Recently, some people in Niles have been concerned over how high they say their utility bills are.

One resident said her utility bill climbed to $165 without any changes. Another said she would have to pay for her utilities on a credit card this month because the bill was so high.

Niles Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz said customers receive a combined utility bill that includes their electric, water and sewer usage.

He wants to remind residents to first look at the back of their bill.

“The first thing you should do when you get your bill, turn it over to the back and make sure you see ‘ACT,’ which means an ‘actual’ reading. If there is an ‘EST,’ which would be an ‘estimate,’ you need to immediately call city hall and request an actual read,” he said.

Some customers said their bills are higher this summer, but the mayor said rates haven’t really gone up.

“We haven’t had a rate increase with our electric in quite a few years. We did increase our water — our customer service fee, $1,” he said.

The city made a $35 million improvement to its water treatment plant, which is the reason behind the $1 monthly charge.

Mientkiewicz said something else people have asked about is budget billing. He doesn’t feel Niles is ready to do that because of billing problems in the past.

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