Fathom Water Systems

Fathom Water Systems President Jason Bethke talks to a resident during a city workshop Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017.

Theresa Morgese said she had not received a water bill for six months.

A couple of weeks ago, it all caught up to her as seven bills showed up in a week's time ... including four in one envelope

Morgese was one of more than 60 residents who participated in a city workshop Tuesday to discuss water billing and metering issue in front of the head of Fathom Water Systems.

They received a lot of information and made their points during the two-plus hour meeting.

Fathom Water Systems President Jason Bethke and Copperas Cove City Manager Andrea Gardner were there to answer questions concerning the water issues.

Fathom serves as the third-party system responsible for billing and customer service. The city is responsible for the maintenance of the water equipment.

Residents spent more than two hours asking a number of questions about the billing system, metering and customer service.

A number of fed up customers finally asked if there were another option besides Fathom.

“I knew they (the bills) were all going to come at once,” Morgese said. “They came a couple of days before Thanksgiving ... merry Christmas to me.”

It is the second meeting in three months in which Bethke has addressed the city council and residents.

Gardner told residents the city had to give Fathom an opportunity to respond.

“There is a process in the contract giving them the opportunity to take care of the problems,” Gardner said.

Others, like Shawnette Johnson, were mad about receiving late fees and cutoff notices despite having their bills up to date.

Bethke tried to convince residence his company would take care of the issues.

“I am here to fix it and make it right,” Bethke said. “We are going to make it right.”

Bethke said Fathom receives $4 per customer — more than 13,700 customers in Copperas Cove — per month for each billed customer. It is the second time in three months Bethke has been at a meeting. In September, he told board members the company “dropped the ball” in regards to its billing system.

Residents had an opportunity after the meeting to talk to utility officials about their individual accounts.

Gardner said she would personally look at all of the bills and report back to the council.

jsteers@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7464

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