To all of those fired up over the water bill issues...I think I have a simple idea: Pay your bill. Wouldn't that solve the problem? You don't have to worry about shut-offs, reconnect fees and the like if you pay your bill. You don't have to be any happier about the increase in cost than you are about the price of milk or gas. It is still a necessity, unlike your cable bill, your cell phone bill, etc.
To the city of Centerville and all utilities who have collection and disconnect issues: The propane marketer delivers the fuel and gets paid in advance of it's use, Fareway collects money for the groceries we consume in advance of consumption, Joe's Quick Shop is paid for the gas we use in advance of it's use.
The city and the utilities are always the bad guys in this equation because they shut these services off to the user who does not pay.
Why not collect in advance and put the responsibility on the consumer?
I don't know of a time that Joe's Quick Shop was ever called and chewed out because of a customer running out of gas on the side of the road. It's our responsibility to put gas in our cars, not theirs.
Fareway has surely never been a named defendant in a starvation lawsuit because they wouldn't provide someone with food have they? No! It's not their problem.
The city of Centerville does not owe you water that you don't pay for. The water department should simply send a letter that states: "If you would like to purchase water for use in the upcoming month, kindly pay the city no later than the last day of the current month, otherwise we will assume you do not want to purchase water for next month and we will disconnect your service."
Just like a vending machine ... you pay, you get ... pretty simple. This entitlement mentality has got to stop.