Winter Haven Apartment Complex is Seeking Refunds From The City

The Abbey Lane Apartments in Winter Haven. (Paul Crate/ The Ledger)

The Abbey Lane Apartments in Winter Haven. (Paul Crate/ The Ledger)

WINTER HAVEN | The owners of an apartment complex in southwest Winter Haven are suing the city, requesting tens of thousands of dollars in water bill refunds because of overbilling.

Although the suit was filed June 4 in Polk County Circuit Court, according to records acquired by The Ledger, city officials said Friday they had not received notification.

Abbey Lane Apartments consists of more than 100 low-income housing units near Lake Shipp at 100 Evergreen Place SW.

The owner, Abbey Lane Associates, says the city grossly overbilled it for water service to the office building.

According to the lawsuit, the overbilling occurred for 31 months from 2009 to 2012, possibly because of a faulty water meter. The suit says the city refuses to refund any of the money that was paid.

The office building for the apartment complex houses four faucets, one toilet and eight residential washing machines.

Prior to June 2009, water bills for the building were for between 10,000 and 19,000 gallons per month, the lawsuit says. Beginning June 4, 2009, things changed.

“During the period from or about June 4, 2009, to Jan. 4, 2012, (the city) billed Abbey Lane for incredible amounts of water consumption at the office building,” J. Frazier Carraway of Saxon Gilmore, Carraway & Gibbons law firm in Tampa contends.

The rest of this article can be found here as it originally appeared on page B1 of The Ledger.