Fort Myers Beach undercharges RV park on water bill for decades

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FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- A billing error has cost Fort Myers Beach tens of thousand of dollars they will never get back.

The town messed up the Red Coconut RV Park’s water bill for decades. The town will now decide if they’ll go after the park for the difference.

If the council decides to back bill the RV park for the last year, that amount will be over $21,000.

Fort Myers Beach made a clerical error decades ago and it’s just now being caught. For years, the town has only been charging the RV park for the use of water on 62 sites. However, the Red Coconut has always had 250 sites.

“I think it would be tough for them to recoup that loss at this point, as a small business owner, I say start fresh from now and bill them like they are suppose to be,” said visitor Loyce Jones.

“The town admits they made a mistake. The equitable thing is to rectify the issue, rectify the error, remedy the error and begin the new rates now,” said Mayor Anita Cereceda.

The Fort Myers Beach mayor thinks it’s unfair to make the RV park pay for the town’s error.

“It’s hardly fair to penalize somebody for an error that wasn’t their own doing,” said Cereceda.

The town can only go after the Red Coconut for one year of money, that’s more than $21,000.

The mayor is now concerned this mistake could have happened to other beach businesses.

“Maybe we need to do a comprehensive audit of all the locations, everyone who has been billed.”

She also expressed that she knows the Red Coconut doesn’t have it in their budget to have to pay this amount of money, unexpectedly.

“I think it’s unfair to what I would look at as a penalty.”

The Red Coconut tells WINK News they pay their water bill on time every month, which is between $5,000- 7,000.

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