Woman left with $500 water bill when neighbor leaves

Brunhilde Barron has lived in an East Broad Street condo in Whitehall for about 40 years. Her latest water bill has her wallet dried up. (WSYX/WTTE)

WHITEHALL, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Brunhilde Barron has lived in an East Broad Street condo in Whitehall for about 40 years. Her latest water bill has her wallet dried up.

"I can't get any help any place else," she said. "Everybody makes excuses."

She contacted ABC 6/FOX 28 for help, when she got an almost $500 water bill in the mail.

She owns her condo as part of a duplex. On the other side of the unit there is a different owner, but the water meter is in her unit.

Barron said she would always go next door to collect their part of the bill.

"I used to only pay at the most $80 for myself for three months," said Barron.

She said there was a leak next door and multiple people living there, who up and left her with the bill.

"I am on a fixed income," she said. "I cannot afford to pay for this."

Columbus Public Utilities said since the account is only in her name, she is ultimately responsible for paying. The condo association said they have little control over how the water meters are operated. Barron just wants some relief.

"I already paid $164," she said. "So, now I have to make two more payments. You know what? I probably have to get another loan from the bank for this."

The condos are under the control of a receiver, who the board member ABC 6/FOX 28 spoke with, said the receiver has the power in this situation to do something.

Columbus Public Utilities said the best thing right now is to set up a payment plan to work off the bill, which Barron is doing.

She tried to protect herself because she says the unit attached to hers does not have a supplemental meter to track their water usage. So, she signed a contract saying she only had to pay $90 per bill, but that didn't work.

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