Business Owner Upset with Water Bills

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A monthly water bill has a metro business owner boiling mad. He says it does not match the flow at his small recycling center.

Pat Salvatores' recycling center at 22nd & Chandler in Bellevue hardly uses any water. In fact, last month his business used 90-cents worth.

But his M.U.D. bill was $60.

"I'm being billed an astronomical amount for that," said Pat Salvatore. "It's like I have a car wash and I don't have a car wash. This is not much water."

Officials with the Metropolitan Utilities District or M.U.D. say there are sewer fees and other costs to get water to and away from a customer.

"A really high percentage of our costs are fixed in the water business -- to maintain our water plant and to have it available for customers to use water and any given time," said Rhonda Chantery with M.U.D.

But Pat Salvatore says business rates should be based more on usage. He doesn't use much with no lawn to water and only one toilet.

With the cost, the owner is considering getting ride of the bathroom. "Might even be easier to get a Porta-Pottie than to keep on the system."

M.U.D. says it's possible the meter installed with this originally was for a gas station and might be too big for the building today.

"We can see if the meter is properly sized," said Chantery.

The recycling center owner says he's evaluating how to cut costs somewhere else. "I should be getting Avian for my water down here."

M.U.D. says its rates are as low as any you'll find across the county.

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