Crestview to receive close to a million dollars from Gulf Power overcharge
Updated: Wednesday, December 18 2013, 06:52 PM CST
CRESTVIEW -- The city of Crestview will soon be getting a check from Gulf Power for almost a million dollars.
The company is paying the city back, after a billing error that lasted seven years.
How the mistake happened.
Laura Hussey "The City of Crestview has fifty lighting accounts with Gulf Power. In 2010, the Public Services Director noticed something about one of those accounts that didn't look right"
Wayne Steele saw the city was being charged for having 2800 of a certain type of streetlight.
But there aren't 2800 streetlights in the entire city.
That was the beginning of a two-year effort to find the source of the overbilling.
Steele says his department eventually mapped every streetlight by GPS to uncover the mistake.
Kelli Clark/Crestview "That's just incredible. I feel like maybe somebody dropped the ball on that one"
On Gulf Power's end, a spokesman says it all started with a bad keypunch.
n 2006, an employee trying to add two new streetlights to an account, accidentally added more than thirteen-hundred.
The company now has systems to prevent that from happening.
They'll be sending Crestview a check for more than 932,000 dollars.
JoAnn Winter "That's awesome, that's awesome, that'll be good for Crestview"
The city hasn't decided what to do with the money yet, but people have lots of suggestions.
Kelli Clark "Transportation. Trying to get around without having proper transportation when you have a little child is not so easy"
Tyler Nelson "I'm sure it's always needed for the General fund and there's always projects you want to do"
Lydia Middleton "there's not too much stuff for kids to do around here, if anyone's noticed"
Tyler "Give it to all the homeless people, divide it up to the thrift stores, the drug treatment centers, pay it forward"