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Winnsboro residents frustrated by utility bills over $1,000

The town says it's due to staffing shortages, and supply chain issues

WINNSBORO, S.C. — Residents in Winnsboro are outraged after getting utility bills as high as $1300 dollars for water, electricity, and gas.

That's not all, residents are getting their bills days if not weeks behind schedule.

"I feel used and abused," says Mary Starkes, a Resident of Winnsboro.

She joined dozens of residents who attended Town Council Meeting in Winnsboro to speak up and get answers about their bills. 

So what's happening? We spoke with Town Manager, Jason Taylor. 

"The cause is not that their bills have gone up it's just that there had been a delay in the time for us to get the bills out, which means that rather than a 30-day bill people are experiencing a 45-day to the 60-day bill, he says.

"The supply of available labor is very short right now, having a very hard time getting meter readers, and then the supply chain to get equipment has also been disruptive, which means we can't get our new meters we're trying to get, to read them electronically," he adds. 

This all comes as the town has been attempting to transition to smart electric meters. but the late arrival of these items, and staffing shortages it's led them to use an estimation on bills for 2 months.

"It's not an ideal situation, it's not something we like to do, but that's something we had to do, and get bills out to keep people from being three if not longer months, as far as bills," he adds. 

The town does have the smart and gas meter and they plan to start installation per their contractors in two weeks with completion aimed at two to six months. 

 As for electricity, they are still waiting on the meter. The town also is telling residents this is an estimated bill and if you believe your bill has been overestimated you can pay on this bill until we get an accurate reading there will be no disconnections of service during this time.

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