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City of China residents upset about increased water bill, claim water is not safe enough to drink

At the start of 2023, the City of China increased customers' water bills by $36 per month.

CHINA, Texas — A Southeast Texas man is voicing his concern, claiming he now has to pay more for water that is not safe enough to drink. 

At the start of 2023, the City of China increased customers’ water bills by $36 per month. The added cost is a flat rate fee that the city approved in October.

 Residents said they cannot afford it.

“I can't pay 139, 130 dollars every month. No,” Preston Ceaser, China resident said. "I'm pretty sure nobody is going to be happy about the water rate going up, especially if we're not able to drink it."

Less than 1500 people live in China. Some of the residents are on a fixed income. 

"That's going to make a big difference in your check because that's money you are losing every month," Ceaser said.

Ceaser has lived in China for 17 years and already felt that his water bill was too expensive.

“I've complained about the bill being high," Ceaser said. "There's been nobody come out here and checked this."

Now, the retired China resident is preparing for his bill to cost more than $100.

"Everything has went up, and now, water is going to go up here,” Ceaser said. "I just hope that they can get with the government or get a grant or something rather than trying to charge us extra for water that we can't drink."

The City of China warned residents about the increase with a notice in October. The extra money will go toward a loan the city took out to pay for a new wastewater treatment plant.

While the treatment plant is needed, some residents believe they should not have to foot the bill and are wondering if there is any other way the city can acquire the funds needed. 

"What happened to government grants,” Ceaser said. “All you have to do is apply for them." 

12News emailed and left messages with the city’s mayor to ask if officials applied for any grants but did not get a response in time for this publication.

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