Statesville residents say they're being scammed on their utility bills

- Sparks flied inside the Iredell County library on Wednesday. Dozens met with local leaders because they feel they're getting cheated on utility bills. 

It's been three years since Josephine Royal, 68, was forced to move out of her Statesville home. 

"I just want to cry because I miss it so bad," she said. 

The front door reads vacant while a 'For Sale' sign rests out front. 

"My house payment was only $379 a month, that's not bad," Royal said.

It wasn't house payments but utility bills that ate away her earnings. Utilities jumping from $600 a month up to $1,300 a month. 

"And she ended up losing her home, they foreclosed on her," Royal's daughter said. 

Royal's daughter said their story is a familiar one. Many who attended Wednesday's meeting  said there's faulty billing in Statesville that's been going on for years. 

"We want to pay our bills but we want to be justified in what we do," a local resident said. 

Some of the bills are quadrupling from month to month. There is so much outrage that the Statesville mayor weighed in. 

"I'm not saying that there's not a bad meter or two out there," he said. 

Very possible, but people said the billing issues  run much deeper. The mayor was asked if this is a systemic issue in which he replied, "Absolutely not."

People at Wednesday's meeting disagreed. In Royal's case, her daughter said they're getting bills that keep climbing even after her mother moved out. 

"How? Nobody is living there. It was foreclosed," she said. 

The 69-year-old woman now lives with her daughter but misses home. 

"I come up here at least twice a week just to look at my house and I can't do nothing about it," she said. 

Royal doesn't have an answer as to why her utility bill was three times higher than her mortgage payment, but she said something shady is going on. 

"I just think justice should be done," she said. 

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