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Two Harbors residents receive unusually high utility bills

Two Harbors residents received significantly unusually high utility bills last week, much to the outrage of many residents.

A letter from the city of Two Harbors posted to Mayor Chris Swanson’s Facebook page Friday, Feb. 15 — and mailed to all Two Harbors utility customers — explained that customers were charged for a nearly seven-week period instead of a typical four-week period.

“Our billing cycle typically runs from on or about the 25th of each month to the 25th of the following month. This, of course, varies when the 25th falls on a weekend or holiday,” the letter read. “Due to issues we had with our meter reading system, we were unable to read meters until Feb. 6, when they normally would have been read on Jan. 25. This resulted with the February 2019 utility bills including a nearly seven-week consumption period.

“This, combined with recent cold weather, has resulted in unusually high utility bills.”

The letter assures customers that the March utility bills will include a shorter consumption period and that the typical four-week billing period will commence from there.

“With this in mind, it has been determined that penalty charges for utility accounts will be waived for the February 2019 billing,” the letter read. “This waiver is intended to allow for individuals who are unable to pay the unusually high February bill at once, to pay what they can in February and then pay the balance of February’s bill together with the March bill, by March 29. This will give customers the same amount of time they normally would have had to pay these charges without penalty.”

The city apologized for the lack of communication about the situation.

Anyone with questions can contact City Hall at 218-834-5631.

City staff were unavailable for comment Monday due to the holiday.

Teri Cadeau

Teri Cadeau is a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. 

(218) 834-2141