Letter-to-the-Editor: Salisbury-Rowan Utilities Smart Meters are Ripping Us County People Off to Pay for Salisbury’s Fibrant Fiasco

Posted on September 26, 2017

Donna Jackson, Spencer, N.C.

♦ What I’m writing about is Salisbury’s latest plague on their neighbors in Rowan County: Salisbury-Rowan Utilities Smart Meters and how they are ripping us county people off to pay for Salisbury’s Fibrant Fiasco. I hear they are ripping off the people in Salisbury too. Check out your Salisbury-Rowan Utilities water bill and notice how your water bill has rocketed up since Smart Meters got installed.

Before I get going on my outrageous “smart meter” water bill I need to drop some facts on your plate:

I am a senior citizen on a fixed income. I don’t have a swimming pool or any other outside water feature that big gulps water. My home was checked for leaks, both inside, and under the house. Nothing going on there.

I recieved my Salisbury-Rowan Utility billing for the month of July, 2017, and my socks were nearly fell off.   I couldn’t beleive the amount and thought it was a mistake of some kind, since it had skyrocketed to more than a 50% increase from the prior month. I paid the bill, thinking that the next month it would be corrected with the new next month’s reading.

My usual SRU (Salisbury-Rowan Utility) billing is between $48 to about $53 monthly.  This includes, water, sewer and trash pickup – the cost of living within a municipality.  Approximately $50 per month is high for anyone living alone on a fixed income.

When I received my August SRU billing, it was higher than the month before!  The ONLY reason that this could be happening is because of the installation of the new ‘smart meters’ at my home that was billed in the July bill.   I called SRU Customer Service number and spoke to a lady who asked me several questions – was the grass greener around my meter box than usual – yes.  Was the ground inside of the box wet or damp – yes.  Had I been using a larger amount of water than usual – no.  She was going to have a Vanguard employee to check it. (Vanguard is the contractor installing the smart meters for SRU).

The next day a man knocked at my door.  He said that he was from SRU, and that he had checked my meter and it was ‘bone-dry in there.’  I knew this was less than truthful, since I had looked myself the early evening before, with a flashlight.  When I looked inside of the box, I could see droplets of water in the piping below the meter and the ground appeared to be damp.

As we discussed his “findings,” I told him that I didn’t see how I could have used that much water in one month, so he offered to have the office to print out some graphs showing my water consumption.  When I arrived back home later that evening, the graphs were at my door.  I am including copies of these graphs at the end of this letter.

As you can see, most days very little water is used, then on a few other days, water consumption spikes, quite high!  I find this quite hard to believe that in ONE DAY any single person could ‘consume’ about 1200 gallons of water!

I am also of the belief that, even though I do not live within the city limits of Salisbury, that thru higher water bills, I am helping to subsidize “The Fibrant Folly.”  Fibrant isn’t even offered in my area, yet I am having to help pay for this black money hole?  Salisbury’s Police force is suffering because of it too, and the trickled down effect of a less-than-a-fully-staffed department is to show for it.  The local police cant be everywhere.  But wouldnt you think with the tax rate that you pay, that you could at least get a crime report written, if necessary?   Hence, the high crime rates, and that just filters out to outlaying municipalities.  So no one is immune to the threat of becoming a criminal’s victim, all because Salisbury City Council just cant fess up to making a bonehead error and “put a plug in the bleeder.”  We need to SHUT FIBRANT DOWN, and keep our hard-earned money in our pockets, not be bled dry with high water bills, most especially when the service is not even offered to you!  (I refuse to pay for something thats not offered, yet I am billed for it on ‘the downlow.’)

The SRU water is also suspected of being damaging to your health with toxic chemicals.  Then your wallet gets shafted for the poisons to come into your home!  (I’m quite sure that their response will be, “Oh, its not that bad.  The levels are very low.”  ANY is too much)

SRU has a choke-hold on every single customer that they service, inside or outside of the Salisbury city limits.  You either pay up, whether you agree or not, or else!  Even people within Salisbury city limits, if they have Fibrant (it is billed with their water/sewer and trash pick up), and if they cant pay their full bill, their water gets shut off – not Fibrant – fibrant is the first thing deducted from a payment.  Wouldn’t you think that someone needs water more than they need cable?  But this is how SRU and local government uses their strong arm tactics on their citizens!

Every municipality has a contract with SRU that plainly states (and I paraphrase) that ‘no water revenues will be used for any other purpose than as intended.’  This means that water revenues are not to be put into the Salisbury City General Fund……to keep Fibrant afloat! (I invite you to google these contracts and read for yourself).

I don’t know about anyone else, but quite frankly I am sick of paying for services not even provided to my area!  I smell a rat, and it smells like CONSUMER FRAUD. To be sure – “Consumer Fraud -The defrauding of a consumer of various products and services which do not perform as advertised, or overcharging and levying hidden charges through deceptive business practices.”

If you are tired of being duped too, stand up and be heard.  Contact you local Town Manager, City Manager, your local governing body, and let them know that the bs is over.  They are duly elected to represent their citizens, not comply with consumer fraud tactics.

It’s well past time for the contracts to be upheld and adhered to, and the citizens shouldnt have to bear the brunt of this fraud.  The robbing of Peter to pay Paul, just so Salisbury City Council can save face – those days should soon come to an end, and the good citizens of this county can take our county back!  The 1% that ‘run this place’ should be exposed, and an investigation into this fraud should soon commence.

It is well past time to hold those elected officials accountable, and to insure that customers are treated honestly and fairly.  We are tired of the lip service and the ‘secret meetings,’ and the backdoor Good Ole Boy system that has robbed our county of all fairness to the common citizen.  We are tired of having our wallets raped by questionable business practices.  We are tired of having local officials just blow us off, like we are peasants.

Stand up and be heard.  State your grievances to you local officials.  Then, go to some Salisbury City Council meetings and state your grievances too!  Prepare yourself to be ridiculed, humiliated, and probably called out of order with the rapping of the mayor’s gavel,  if you rock the boat – thats just business as per usual in Salisbury.

Check your bill and come on down to the Next Salisbury City Council meeting.

Join up with SALISBURY OFF OUR BACKS.  Consumers United will Never Be Defeated.  We have a vast array of consumer weapons at our disposal.  Legal, Economic Boycotts.  We can shut Salisbury down economically until they hurl the people who engineered this smart meter water fraud out of office.

SALISBURY OFF OUR BACKS: Resist Paying for Fibrant through Our Exorbitant Water Bills.  Resist Paying For Contaminated Tap Water:


July 26th Article in the RFP by Todd Paris: 7 Million Dollars worth of Fibrant Water Meters on the Way:


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