Pawhuska Residents Concerned With Huge Jump In Utility Bill

Thursday, August 4th 2016, 7:43 pm
By: Tess Maune

The summer heat inevitably means we're going to pay more on our electric bills. But in Pawhuska, they’re really steamed to see bills spike, in some cases, by more than $500.

Jacque Jones said her most recent utility bill made her sick.

“My June Bill was $198.10,” she said. “It jumps to $771.17.”

That's more than a $500 increase.

“This is the highest, ever, my bill has been,” she said.

She's not alone - the high price for power seems to be the talk of Pawhuska. Some bills have doubled, others quadrupled; either way, it’s a surprise and a struggle for many families.

Pawhuska resident, Jane Toland said, “We are self-employed, which our business bill is just as bad. And I have four children.”

Others, like Mary Brewer, don't mind paying a higher bill, especially after her A/C broke for a week.

“It means I've got electricity and air conditioning, so I'm a happy person,” she said.

The city manager wasn’t in the office Thursday, but leaders at city hall said this happens every year. They said the only thing that's changed is the temperature.

But Jones doesn't see how that's possible. She said she didn't do anything different in July, other than go away with her family for a week-long vacation.

Jones took her concerns to city hall, and they’re going to have someone check her meter again, but that doesn't mean she - like so many others - won't still have to pay the big bill.

“There's a possibility I'm still gonna have to pay this,” Jones said. “It's gonna make my family suffer.”

Some have questioned if the town is paying for the electricity used during the annual rodeo, Cavalcade. The city said no because the county fairground picked up that tab.

 It's also not a rate increase. The city said it hasn't bumped the cost of power since 2014.