On Your Side Update: Springfield veterans group gets $6,600 in donations to pay for dead meter bill

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 6:23 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Thanks to donations, a Springfield veterans group can now pay its nearly $6,000 dead meter bill.

Two weeks ago, we told you the Kirby Wilcox Bicentennial American Legion Post 676 on the city’s north side got what it called a surprise bill from City Utilities. The gas meter was not reading correctly. The letter says it’s not the group’s fault, but it must pay.

After our story aired, a business owner started a fundraiser. Then a radio personality told his listeners to give.

Nick Reed with Springfield’s Talk 104.1 knew his listeners could act fast. It looks less than two hours to raise $3,000.

“I knew that we would because I know our community of listeners,” said Reed. “It gave people the opportunity in this day in age, where they feel ‘What can I do?’ Here’s something I can do.”

Caleb Arthur, who started the fundraiser, agreed to match every dollar.

Post 676 has enough to cover the dead meter bill. Plus an extra few hundred dollars.

“We got some elderly veterans who are waiting on ramps. Anything we can do to get them to adjust, frees up that much more for projects for the community,” said Ann Humphreys, the general manager of Post 676.

Through an attorney, American Legion leaders asked CU for a downward adjustment.

“If it’s still up for discussion, we are going to keep talking about it. It’s still not right. They still don’t get to decide what our gas usage was during Covid. That is not right. They can’t justify that,” said Humphreys.

“I think the powers that be, City Utilities, CU leadership, city council, the mayor, everyone should have gotten together before those letters were sent -- how do we even fix this before it gets to that point? I think it makes everyone looks bad,” said Caleb Arthur with Sun Solar. “Are we going to take nonprofit groups and shut off their power? Their services? There has to be better answers than this is how we treat people.”

“To know that we have got the support over this, it has been amazing. Something that was so devastating at first is just turned around,” said Humphreys.

A CU spokesperson tells On Your Side it continues to look into the situation with this account.

More stories about dead meter bills in Springfield:

On Your Side: Hundreds of CU customers expected to get dead meter bills

On Your Side: Hundreds of CU customers get dead meter bill notices

On Your Side: Customer must pay $900 power bill from faulty meter

On Your Side: How to spot a faulty utility meter

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