Q: Why does the consumer have to call to have their account credited when their utility bill reflects higher sewage usage than water? I realize that readings are taken certain times of the year but it appears there is no system in place to credit customers automatically. If I don’t call, I do not receive a credit.

A: Greta Meche, service fee manager for the city-parish Finance Department, says the sewer user fee is not based on the monthly water use readings.

Rather, Meche says, the fee is based on the customer’s average water usage during October, November and December of the prior year and February, March and April of the current year.

“These months have historically been the lowest water usage months for our customers,” Meche says. “Each customer’s average water usage is recalculated in July of each year.

“For new residential customers, the sewer user fee is based on the average water usage of 11.5 ccf (hundred cubic feet) or 8,600 gallons. Adjustments made after three full months is available. A credit is issued to customers with water usage below the average, and the monthly sewer user fee is adjusted. New accounts are reviewed by the Service Fee Business Office on a monthly basis.

“For existing residential customers, adjustments to the sewer user fee can be made if the average water usage for the most recent six months is lower than the usage being billed.”

To request a review of your account, call the Service Fee Business Office at (225) 389-5378.

For more information, visit www.brgov.com/dept/finance/servicefee.htm.

Lights at Juban Road

Q: Could you tell me when the lights on Interstate 12 at Juban Road are scheduled to be installed? The interstate expansion has been completed for over a year and the lights on I-12 at Walker have been installed for several months.

A: “Interstate lighting is installed when requested by the local government,” says Lauren Lee, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation and Development.

DOTD administers a program to fund a portion of the initial installation costs, she said, but the local government must agree to maintain and operate the lighting system.

“There has been no request to install lighting on I-12 near Juban Road at this time, but the lighting infrastructure (conduit and light base) is already in place should a lighting installation project be decided for this area,” Lee said.

Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks said he will seek a resolution from the Parish Council in December officially requesting the lighting for that interchange.

Ricks said it could take up to two years for the lighting to be funded and installed, but parish officials will be working to move the project along as quickly as possible.

Talk to us

Send questions to Ask The Advocate, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810; or fax to Ask The Advocate, (225) 388-0371; or email asktheadvocate@theadvocate.com.