Nov 30, 2011 7:26 PM by Melissa Hawkes
The Mayor of Broussard, Charles Langlinais, is refusing to pay more than 800 thousand dollars to LUS. He doesn't feel the amount is accurate.
The large bill was handed over to the city officials after LUS officials discovered the city has been consuming water for five years from one of the meters, but not paying for it.
LUS Director Terry Huval said the city owes 825 thousand dollars.
Langlinais said, "we were uncomfortable with the number from the very beginning."
"Huval said, "we thought it was fair and was consistent with normal water usage. We also adjusted it to the appropriate rates because those rates did change over the years."
LUS first installed the meter in June of 2005, and nine months later the City of Broussard started using water. The problem is the water was flowing through a by pass valve instead of going through the actual meter and LUS had no idea.
"We didn't do anything different than what we've done with any other meters," Langlinais said. "We build it to their specifications and then they take it from there."
Huval said the city never notified LUS to turn on the water, which is why there was never a bill. He said by failing to contact LUS, the city breached their contract.
Langlinais has hired a third party to make sure the water usage was calculated correctly.
He said, "we felt it was best to go to an outside expert that everyone looks to for their expertise in this field."
Huval said, "we asked them to pay it. If they find adjustments need to happen we will-- it could be less and it could be more."
As of now, the city has 30 days to pay it's outstanding balance, but Langlinais said he's not paying anything until he has a second opinion.