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Memphis City Council Considers Individual Meters For Apartments After Water Shutoffs

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(Memphis) There is a public safety hazard in the city of Memphis as people who depend on water can have the spout turned off at any moment, even if they’ve paid their bill.

That’s according to one city councilman who is introducing a plan to stop the problem.

Right now in Memphis, 88,000 people live in apartments, and neighbors share the cost of water based on one meter.

But if a new ordinance passes, new apartment buildings will give each apartment its own meter.

“It makes it easier to put everything on a master meter, but why do that? Why lump all these residents together when the face the possibility of having their water turned off even if they pay their bill,” said Councilman Myron Lowery.

Lowery says that’s been the case at least three times in the past few months because the land lord isn’t paying the bill, and the resident’s take the hit.

The ordinance would protect people like the tenants at the Graceland Manor apartments who had their water shut off the entire Thanksgiving holiday.

According to MLGW, water to the complex was turned off after the landlord failed to pay the $5,551 water bill.

This created problems for people like Lynn Scruggs who wasn’t getting any water even though she paid for it because of the landlord.

“We just wash up. We aren’t bathing. She just took our money and isn’t doing right,” said Scruggs.

Lowery says he isn’t worried about a possible increase of cost to put each additional meter in, because he believes it will save residents money in the long run and give them more control over their own water use.

“Right now there are apartment complexes in the city of Memphis that have water leaks. The owners will not fix the water leaks so they are increasing the rent from the tenants to pay for the leaks,” said Lowery.

Lowery says the city is brainstorming how to fix the problem in the apartments already constructed, but so far it looks like new ordinance would change apartments being constructed.

Lowery’s water meter ordinance will be introduced in Council committee tomorrow and must be approved three times after that before it becomes official.


  • Chris Hughes

    This is a problem with a, MEANING ONE, irresponsible landlord….. The installation of individual meters would be ridiculous not to mention the cost of maintaining and reading this many meters!!! Renters pay for the water in their rent and this has NEVER been a problem with responsible landlords!!! Myron Lowery’s idea is ridiculous and this cost will only be passed on to other MLGW customers!!!

  • SlimSam

    Unfortunately, those who pay their rent suffer for those who don’t. The true story was that the Landlord simply got tired of covering the bills for deadbeat tenants. Don’t add meters, strengthen and enforce eviction laws. It’s simple-You don’t pay-You can’t stay. Mr. Lowery’s solution is detrimental to future development in Memphis, will burden Tenant and Landlord alike, and is typical of the systemic short sightedness in city leadership.

  • Sheena

    Deadbeat tenants in Whitehaven. I do not believe it. Who is going to pay for all those meters, Lowery? The Memphis taxpayers will get fleeced again.

  • Thomas H. Evans

    You see, this is why it is so hard to maintain respect for Myron and others on the City Council. I don’t know who sat down with Myron and sold him on this idea, probably the same people who told him that buying into the Chisca Hotel or the Ball Park was a great idea.Come on Myron, come up with some ideas that will move this city forward, like trying to attract more Convention business to our city. I guess we would have to get rid of Kevin Kane first, and we know that’s not going to happen.

  • Jack

    I agree with Myron Lowery on this. Starting with all new construction on any apartment as well as any building such as strip malls should have there on meter. This will make the tenant responsible for his on use of the water as well as paying sewer fees and other fees that the rest of us have to pay.

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