Disabled veteran with $4,000 water bill left high and dry - CBS46 News

Disabled veteran with $4,000 water bill left high and dry

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Disabled veteran Paul Halpern ran into problems with the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management nearly six months ago when his normal bill of about $29 jumped to $80, and then nearly $4,000. 

“It gave me a lot of sleepless nights because I’m being insulted,” Halpern said.

Now neighbors like Lin Holcomb are now speaking out and defending a man who once defended them.

“Our hero has fallen through the cracks,” Holcomb said. “He needs to get his money back."

Since first reporting the problem, Halpern said the water department has failed to even respond to the issue, let alone resolve it.

“It’s unfortunate that you come out, point this out, air this story. They clearly know that there’s a problem and six months later they still haven’t resolved the problem,” Holcomb said.

Halpern only receives an income of $11,000 a year and his daughter Beverly will tell you that every penny counts.

“It’s been pathetic. The fact is he’s never missed a payment and he needs water just to live,” Heimburger said.

So CBS46 reached out to the water department yet again on Thursday and this time they promised to have someone call Halpern and investigate the issue.

“I want him to be reimbursed for all of his out of pocket money, not only for the bill itself, but for the plumbers that had to come out here to check to make sure there was no leak,” Heimburger said. 

“If anybody needs to get their money returned to them, this hero who was a POW in Korea, needs his money back now,” Holcomb said.

CBS46 contacted CEO Michael Thurmond's office and were told he has been investigating the water billing issues and intends to unveil a holistic plan to resolve this and other billing blunders sometime in February. He is also meeting with representatives from the Facebook group, Unbelievable DeKalb Water Bills next Friday. 

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