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Houston City Council Delays Vote on Water Bill Relief Ordinance Changes

Houston City Council members deliberated nine proposed ordinance changes related to water bill relief during a meeting on December 6. However, the vote on these changes is postponed until at least the December 13 meeting due to the item being tagged, delaying the decision by one week.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner revealed that the city and the public works department collaborated for months to address resident complaints about inaccurate water bills. The potential changes to the ordinance aim to provide relief to affected residents and include adjustments to leak allowances, incentives for prompt leak repairs, reduction of leak balance for senior citizens and low-income households, and more.

While over 99% of the monthly bills (out of more than 50,000) are accurate, the less than 1% encountering problems have become a significant concern. The proposed changes, if approved, are expected to address approximately 90% of resident complaints about water bills. The director of Houston Public Works, Carol Haddock, emphasized that the changes would stay within the boundaries set by past city councils.

The vote on these proposed changes was tagged by Council member Michael Kubosh during the December 6 meeting, leading to the delay until December 13. If approved, the changes are anticipated to take immediate effect.