Texas RV Park Owner Challenges Water Bill Fee
Charles Nunn said he will refuse to pay a new water charge because it is against the law, even though the city of San Benito, Texas, is threatening to shut off water to his RV park.
“They’ve got to be trespassing to get to my meter,” Nunn said, pointing to the master water meter at First Colony Mobile and RV Park .
According to a report in The Monitor, Nunn said his park hasn’t paid $5,300 that has been charged since October when the city passed an ordinance setting a monthly $10 base water fee to individual RV sites, whether the sites are occupied or not.
“I said, ‘I’m not paying,’” he said. “I never paid for anything I didn’t owe.”
Nunn cited a state law that he argues prohibits cities from charging water fees to unmetered sites at RV parks.
The law in question was filed in 2005 by state Sen. Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, and State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, authored Senate Bill 569 and House Bill 841, respectively.
“The bill was brought to us by campground owners who were concerned about aggressive billing,” Chris Steinbach, Kolkhorst’s chief of staff, said. “So the bill was to keep the billing as accurate as possible.”
State Rep. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, last year authored revised legislation known as House Bill 1210, which prohibits cities from charging all unmetered RV sites, whether they’re occupied or unoccupied, said Brian Schaeffer, executive director of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO).
The law exempts mobile homes and permanently tied-down park models from water meter charges, Schaeffer said.
Barbara North, who manages Nunn’s park, said she doesn’t want to take a chance that the city won’t refund the money if it stops charging the fee.
“They’re going to have to back off and when they back off, the city won’t refund it,” North said.
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