Petersburg council members under fire for unpaid utility bills

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PETERSBURG, Va (WRIC) — Petersburg council members are under fire for unpaid water bills.

According to the City of Petersburg’s online billing system, Councilman Darrin Hill owed the City of Petersburg $346.85. Councilman Charles Cuthbert also owed $74.81. According to the report, both accounts were 90 days past due until Tuesday when 8News asked questions.

The City of Petersburg has aggressively gone after residents for unpaid utility bills. Officials have previously attributed unpaid bill by residents to the city’s financial crisis and difficulty meeting millions in debt obligations.

Residents on social media criticized council members for the outstanding accounts and called them to set an example and meet their financial obligations to the city.

Dave Dudley is from Petersburg and expressed disappointment after learning Cuthbert and Hill were behind on utility bills.

“Above all people, they should have their bills paid and I just can’t believe that they were not paid,” Dudley said.

“It’s just wrong. It is just completely wrong,”  added Stedman Andrews.

Hill and Cuthbert declined to speak with news on camera, but shortly after our inquiry, the city’s billing system showed payments were made on both accounts.

Acting City Manager Tom Tyrell also weighed in.

“Our position is, we are going after every nickel and dime,” Tyrell said. “It does not matter who it’s from. I can’t tell you for sure that any of our council members were aware that there was actually a past due amount. That the bills exist doesn’t necessarily mean that they knew about it.”

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