Casteel: GRU billing problems continue

Letter to the editor

I had to leave the March 23 General Policy Committee meeting before they discussed the proposed Local Bill pertaining to GRU Governance, so I offer these comments here:

Let me start this by saying you have had many years to get this right, yet you have seemingly failed at every opportunity. You all have chosen to carry on, despite knowing how far in debt you are.

I know there are a few here that were never a part of this but have chosen to carry the burden as well. There are a few who have tried to get others to see that what is being done is wrong, and there are a few that just downright do not care.

I am going to tell you now: I will continue to be on the side of the State due to the negligence of the City, and that negligence continues today. Let me explain: People continue to get shut-off notices for a family member that never had utilities at their address, and there are others that are getting shut-off notices because a prior tenant’s bill was not paid, despite providing the new lease, turning on power with a new account, and paying a deposit. These people are being told that this is in the municipal code.

I don’t know what is going on with the utility, or if you, the City officials, have told the utility that it needs to make money any way it can, but the list of things that continue to happen out of the norm would make anyone question.

The utility is so out of sorts it doesn’t even know what is what… or so it seems. People are still getting two and three bills at a time, yet I am told there is a full staff of meter readers. People are being sent these multi-month bills and told they have to pay a portion immediately. And, as I wrote above, there are people being shut off for a bill that isn’t their bill.

Angela Casteel, Gainesville

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  • Gru is the biggest thieves in alachua county. The utilities bill are in human and a way the city gouges it’s citizen legal. With zero regard knowing their no other options in the city. 😥

    • Not GRU, the city commissioners, Jason. The blame is entirely theirs yet they continue to get elected.

  • They are estimating my bill i have outside security cameras the last time anyone from GRU showed up to read my meter was November yeah, I get a bill each month for different amounts

  • Yes, it seems like I am getting my bill earlier in earlier, just got notified that GRU took out the bill on the first of the month already from my checking account, the day before payday.Thank God I do not live paycheck to paycheck, but this must be hurting a lot of people and bouncing their checks!

  • They have a 15 year record of political meddling into our utility. Now we may lose it all, very soon.

    • Longer than 15. The decline began under mayor hanrahan and continues to this day.

      • JD: Bingo! You got that right!
        It was Hanrahan. Democrat leadership has been a disaster…Hanrahan implemented UN climate change CO2 regulations (Kyoto Protocol) locally… go woke go broke is where we’re at now.

        • you sound like one of desantis’ flunkies, what is your definition of woke Bull, bet you don’t even know what it’s all about. Stay blind with your head in the sand cause that’s the way they like you to be, uninformed and waiting on them to tell how to think.

  • GRU is a hot mess! I pay multiple bills for the company I work for….we are getting bills from November, getting bills stating past due balance when the balance they claim is past due is not even due yet, getting bills that are due in 2 days because they were mailed out to us late…..then you try to call them or even go down there and no one can help. Forget about emailing customer service, they do not respond for weeks! And get this…..they are actually closing down for 2 weekdays 3/30 & 3/31 to update systems!?! Any company I’ve ever worked for large or small, do system updates at night or over a weekend! So no turn ons or turn offs for 4 days!! Ridiculous! And they’re estimating because they do not have enough meter readers!?! Look at your bills closely!

  • I did not receive a GRU bill for 3 months on an account that I have had for 46 years. When I received it, the bill was $995.61. I gave them a check for $1000 before I received the bill even though it is on auto pay. With this much incompetence I was afraid my electric would be cut off. The next month GRU sent me a bill for $1135.36 for 26 days of service. They said I use 94,000 gallons of water, that is a 45ft. cube of water, a garden hose left on full blast for 28 days! I might have noticed my Duck Pond house floating away. Fortunately I took pictures of the electric & water meter so they said they would adjust it. They fixed it but the bill still hit my bank for $1135.36. It will take 3 months of credits to straighten out. This is not a financial burden for me but I don’t know what the majority of the people out there living pay check to pay check would do!
    Do you think they have a problem at GRU?

  • Firing Ed Bielarski and replacing him with the Water Manager should be added to the list of Poe’s failures as mayor. It was obviously the wrong decision, seeing as how GRU is AFU now. Competency matters, a concept that seemed to always elude Poe.

    • the firing of mike kurtz by mayor hanrahan, et al. began the decline in what was on of the best municipal utilities in the country.

    • Mr P, it was WARD, the current elected Mayor that put forth the proposal to fire Ed at a surprise, last minute agenda item addition. No one was prepared and the citycomm voted for it. What goes around comes around. Karma is real. Can’t wait for this to shake out and see what falls.

      • I don’t think the mayor is allowed to make or second motions, but I could be wrong. Poe had has little speech ready to go, as did most everyone else. It seemed to be a group effort with Poe presiding over it as mayor.

  • Hopefully GRU will have some resources to devote to fixing its business operations once the JLAC stops the city’s conversion of utility funds to pay for their effort to become Portland or San Francisco.

  • Stay on em Angela, wish they would turn it over to Clay Electric I never had a problem with them and get yearly Capitol Credit checks from them.

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