City of Norwich to rethink 'catastrophic loss' policy for water bills

NORWICH – At the City of Norwich joint committees meeting on Tuesday night, committee members voted in favor of developing a new policy in regards to the relief of sewer charges after two properties in the city experienced 'catastrophic losses' in the last few months resulting in excessive water bills.

Committee members voted unanimously to develop a new policy to be considered at the April 17 council meeting, after two water incidents in the last few months. One at Benedict Corporation, and one at a St. Bartholomew Church property were deemed catastrophic losses, resulting in excessive water flow that did not go into the drainage system.

Both Benedict Corporation and St. Bart's asked the city for relief after pipes bursting resulted in over three and a half times the properties' normal water usage.

The Common Council authorized relief to the Benedict Corporation at its March meeting, adjusting its bill by a total amount of $2,747.19 after determining the water from the pipes bursting did not go into the sewer, and that the amount lost compared to the property's normal water usage could be considered a catastrophic loss. The authorization was passed by a vote of 5-1, with Alderman Ward 2 Brian Doliver voting nay as he asserted at the time of the incident and presently, the city does not have a policy to offer relief.

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