Restaurant faces water bill battle

- FOX 46 Charlotte is working to get results for a local restaurant battling a more than $300,000 water bill.

The owner of Lazeez Mediterranean Grille says the bill was sent to him back in March as a mistake.

Since then, the water has been cut off several times, cutting into business.

"They are saying we owe $313,000," said Restaurant Owner Faraz Ahmed Syed.  "So I just don't know what I should do."

The sizzling sounds of the stovetop were stopped again today for a third time in three months.

"We can't run the business without water," Syed said.

A notice was administered to them by the city this morning.  The Water Department has continuously cut the water to Lazees Mediterranean Grille after sending the restaurant a bill for $313,000 in March.  It's a mistake that dates back three months.

"Usually the water bill should not be more than $1,100 max."

When Syed saw the bill was around 300 times that, he was clearly concerned.

"I was surprised," he said.  "I wondered if there was a leak-- so I called to pay the previous bill, which is $1,100, and they said, 'no, you owe $313,000-- but the restaurant was closed for four months for reopening Lazeez.  I talked to a supervisor and she said they would fix it and that it was an error on their end and I owed $1,174-- so I paid right away."

The restaurant is his family's livelihood.

"The first time in March, they took almost three days to come here and start my service," he said.  "And it's impacting me really bad-- really, really bad-- and from a financial point of view, I'm losing my employees and customers and money as well-- so it's a big problem for the restaurant right now."

FOX 46 reached out to the city's water department.  Staff there couldn't go into specifics about someone else's bill, but explained the process and what the restaurant owner should do.  All were steps he said he's already taken.

"Are they gonna fix it or call me or come again next month?" he said.  "I'm worried about whether they're gonna come again and cut the power and the issue is still going on because it has not been resolved and I'm very worried."

FOX 46 is working to get results for the restaurant owner and will keep you posted on what happens. 

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