Petersburg faces $1.2 million lawsuit for failed payments to was - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Petersburg faces $1.2 million lawsuit for failed payments to wastewater authority


The city of Petersburg's financial turmoil takes yet another hit as the agency that treats water for the city files suit over lack of payment.

The South Central Wastewater Authority services water for Petersburg, Prince George, Dinwiddie, Colonial Heights and parts of Chesterfield. The agency says Petersburg is the only locality that owes more than a million dollars in unpaid services.

The acting city attorney, acting city manager, even the city's treasurer are all listed in the lawsuit.

The water authority is now calling on a third party vendor to collect future payments, because it feels the city can't handle its obligations. It’s due $1.2 million in back payments. When you add penalties, the balance climbs to $1.5 million.

Now some are calling on new leadership all together.

"There is no reason why Petersburg has to be the poor man of the Appomattox River basin," says local attorney Charles Cuthbert.

He’s frustrated over the current state of the city he was born and raised in. NBC 12 shared with him the lawsuit filed Wednesday by the authority that treats Petersburg's water.

"It is unfortunately more of the same. Petersburg has to pay its bills," Cuthbert said.

Earlier this year, the city ran into financial troubles but made payment arrangements with the water authority and eventually met them. Now, the lawsuit claims Petersburg hasn't made payments since May.

It's scenarios like this that find Cuthbert running to be a council member in November's election.

"It's a desire to help Petersburg dig itself out of this ditch that were in…I think we all feel like we've been blindsided by the financial problems," he said.

NBC 12 reached out to his opponent Pat Hines, who says the city's finances continue to snowball. She's calling for a transparent strategic plan and budget to outline how to move forward.

"The citizens and vendors [have] lost confidence and trust in the current city leadership. The future survival of this city depends on us getting our finances under control with accurate projections of what’s coming in and what’s going out, setting priorities for essential payments and being realistic in our spending and being honest and accountable to our citizens." Hines said.

Wednesday, Mayor Howard Myers turned down a request for an on-camera interview. As the city fights the new, million dollar lawsuit against it, many neighbors are calling for new vision.

"Working as a team, Petersburg council can bring our city to greater prosperity," Cuthbert added.

In a response from Petersburg:

"The City has identified the amounts it owes to South Central Wastewater Authority and is disappointed that the Authority has chosen to file a law suit at this time.  The City is and has been working with the Authority to resolve the amounts it owes.  The lawsuit does not help the city and the Authority in achieving resolution for the City’s obligations.  As the Authority and citizens know, the city council and management have been working to resolve the city’s financial difficulties."

More money problems for Petersburg:

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