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City Attorney John Russell, Alderman Marvin Viloria and Alderman Jason Osbourne discuss the concerns of Monroe Family Restaurant's electric bill on November 4.

Monroe Family Restaurant owner Tammi Latifoski addressed the Monroe City Board of Alderman with concerns involving her electric bill. Latifoski stated, “I believe I have been overcharged for my electric bill and would like a refund in the amount of $5,907.35.”

Latifoski explained her business had an electrical problem in March with a transformer. She stated, “For two months the bill was normal, then went extremely high and then was outrageous. My bill should not fluctuate this much and there is no explanation for the reason.”

Director of Operations Blake Rodgers stated, “We had to replace several wires and parts, which helps measure the currents flowing through. These systems are old and usually start reading low and then just quit. I believe this has been reading low for a long time and since replaced is now reading correctly and causing a much higher bill.” Latifoski stated, “There should still not be that big of a difference and I would like a refund. I work seven days a week for months and years at a time.”

The council reviewed her utility bill and a comparison of two other restaurant’s electric bills of similar size. The comparison showed Monroe Family Restaurant’s bill was considerably lower than those in the comparison. The Monroe Family Restaurant electric bill showed over a $1,000 increase after the repairs were made. Rodgers stated, “We are installing all new equipment that will be 100 percent accurate and will be having the other equipment sent off to be tested for efficiency. I will say, almost always the meters read slow and not fast. I did explain that after replacing the equipment there is a big possibility her electric bill will go up due to the old equipment not reading correctly.”

Alderman Jason Osbourne made a motion to refund Monroe Family Restaurant $5,907.35. Alderman Marvin Viloria seconded the motion. With the motion on the floor, Mayor Jerry Potterfield began a discussion about waiting for the testing results to come back before granting a refund. Potterfield asked, “Are you going to refund the City the money if the testing states the meter was in fact reading slow?” Latifoski stated, “Yes I will.”

After a long discussion, Osbourne stated, “I made a motion, because I believe this should have been done years ago and it is not the fault of the restaurant owner. She had no way of knowing the meter was reading wrong.”

With the motion on the floor, a roll call vote was taken with the motion passing with a 3-2 vote, refunding Latifoski in the amount of $5927.35.