Century Finds Hundreds Of Customers Are Not Being Billed For Utilities

April 16, 2019

The Town of Century has discovered hundreds of customers that are not being billed for utilities.

Century Gas Superintendent Wally Kellett told the told council Monday night that 268 customers are not being billed each month for some combination of services including gas, water and sewer. He said there may be a few duplicates in the 268 number, but there is still a “significant amount”.

“It’s a billing problem; it’s in the system somewhere,” Kellett said, adding that it has been an ongoing problem for a long period of time. “This didn’t happen overnight. I knew there were some issues, and we found them.”

Kellett, Town Clerk Kim Godwin and billing clerk Toni Simmons attended a two-day training on the town’s billing software  last week in Texas and made the discovery. The training cost the town $4,000 plus travel expenses.

Kellett said that armed with new training and insights into the software, the town should see the billing bottom line improve.

In addition, he said a new gate station meter has now been installed to measure and verify the amount of gas received from the town’s supplier. A recent grand jury investigation found Century could not account for 40 percent of the natural gas purchased from their supplier.

The gas superintendent also told the council that a new natural gas meter has been installed at the Century Correctional Institution, and it will lead to additional revenue due to more accurate billing. Under a provision of the contract between the town and the Florida Department of Corrections, Kellett said the state will be back-billed for additional gas believed to have been used by the prison.

A grand jury investigation revealed Century’s gas fund lost $527,738 in the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. Their report indicated that there were between 500 and 600 total gas customers.

Pictured: Century Gas Superintendent Wally Kellett addresses the Century Town Council Monday night. NorthEscambia.com photo, click to enlarge.


23 Responses to “Century Finds Hundreds Of Customers Are Not Being Billed For Utilities”

  1. Citizen on April 17th, 2019 7:26 pm

    I have lived in Century a little over one year. I have never gotten a correct city bill until this past month. Each month previously, I had to go in there and ask them to correct It. Late fees and reconnect charges were added when I was never late. I guess the former billing clerk had to make up for not charging friends and family by overcharging the rest of us. The new billing clerk already seems to be doing a better job.

  2. Wilykyote on April 17th, 2019 6:35 pm

    @ Duke if Wawbeek: You runnin for President ?

  3. ROBERT on April 17th, 2019 8:07 am

    Seems at least once a week I read that there are problems in Century…Fire them all and start from scratch might help…Sure doesn’t lok like it would hurt anything there….

  4. Bewildered on April 17th, 2019 6:50 am

    A town that has 268 households run by “indirect” thieves. No matter what your level of education, anyone knows full well they are not paying for the services they are getting. Did anyone come forward when it was made public that gas was missing ? NO – they allowed that the blame was put on the supplier cheating them with the volume delivered. Good luck to the poster of the comment that all these fine folks are friends and neighbors. It’s not surprising that corrupt officials are in charge. Century can be the poster child for the Democratic Party: FREE EVERYTHING
    as long as you vote for us. Lord help us, we need it!

  5. Williwonka on April 17th, 2019 5:30 am

    It appears the government of Century is corrupt. I wish Governor DeSantis would step in and remove those involved in the corruption. I wonder how many residents who did not receive utility bills were buddies with the utility billing folks. This mess has been going on way too long.

  6. Karen on April 16th, 2019 8:48 pm

    This is ashame they need to look at all the ones not on the board and see how many are paying! I have asked questions for years about my utilities for 2 people being around 100 or more but they always come up with something! Keep digging cause I’m sure there is more they are hiding!

  7. just sayin on April 16th, 2019 6:14 pm

    @carl and sylivia your bill not the only one high all u people complaining yes complaining about stuff that been going on for years now that it has came to light you want to point fingers at one person woww let see what next

  8. PCD on April 16th, 2019 4:26 pm


  9. resident on April 16th, 2019 4:15 pm

    All I can say is keep peeling back the layers.
    At first I thought the county may do better with ECUA, but now I’m not so sure.

    This is Freaking ridiculous but it’s a start.

    People–we came together to collectively start a municipality, to have services like drinking water and sewer,

    Just Do it.

    Get grants if necessary.

    No body wants drama, just pick up the trash, flush the toilet, have clean water.

    Oh and have good employees doing their job and not THIEVES stealing from OUR town.

    If ones have been stealing from the town, they are a microcosm of what Democratic Socialism would be. It’s not that hard people.

    We all pay in and it works.

    I still think you should FIRE the accountant.

    One last chance..get this right or dissolve.

    No one needs worthless teats on a boar hog..

  10. Duke of Wawbeek on April 16th, 2019 4:03 pm

    Century may be a pack of mediocre incompetents, but none the less, they are our friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.

    We love and accept them, just as they are, be such as it may. We must bring them along.

  11. Bowhunter on April 16th, 2019 4:02 pm

    Hope If They Back Bill The ( FDOC ) The State Of Florida Take The Money And Credit’s What The Town Of Hawkins Owes Them Or Pays Over 30 Year’s

  12. Chelleepea on April 16th, 2019 2:35 pm

    This is why Ms. Brooks wanted someone with experience in the billing position. For too many years an entry-level person without comprehensive training was put into a senior level position.

  13. chris on April 16th, 2019 2:17 pm

    Inept would be an understatement. And to spend $4,000.00 to find this out, on top of losses of $527,738.00? Cannot wait to hear King Hawkins spin on this one.

  14. Ab on April 16th, 2019 1:40 pm

    How many city employees get free utilities???

  15. BIG JOHN on April 16th, 2019 1:35 pm


  16. Tom on April 16th, 2019 12:22 pm

    Bring the heat on and all of a sudden things are figured out almost over night with just some new software is all it took? Don’t think so, maybe the investigation will continue.

  17. David Huie Green on April 16th, 2019 10:42 am

    “Their report indicated that there were between 500 and 600 total gas customers.”

    Between 500 and 600?
    501? 599?

    268 not billed?

    It looks like that would be noticed when billing about a half to a third fewer than the number served.

    Especially when you KNOW you are buying more than you are selling. But I have known those who reported getting low bills who were ignored. An interesting way to run a town.

    David for reaping what you sow

  18. retired on April 16th, 2019 8:54 am

    will the 268 be back-billed also for additional gas believed to have been used ????????

    just average the bill for that amount of time.

  19. carl & Sylvia on April 16th, 2019 8:42 am

    Hmmmm….. so that’s why my bill is so high? I think I need a job at City Hall to make sure the people get billed for the use of utilities.

  20. Dan on April 16th, 2019 7:22 am

    Are they gonna back charge the residents that have been stealing from the town? I sure they new they were supposed to be paying for gas every month.

  21. Sammy Jo on April 16th, 2019 6:35 am

    HMMM, now lets recap this~~ This is not the first time that Wally has worked for Century…How long has he been on the job this time?? Kim,was the Gas Superintendent before …….NOW…..THEY GO TO TEXAS (at some cost) and find out this info in TEXAS? And he said he knew something was not right for a time Strange things happening~~~The time for high gas usage is past for now……..so maybe by next cold season, they will have it figured out …….With the town going broke …they hire another employee and give another employee a raise…The mayor says they can not do the work with the staff they have…How many employees does the city hall have???? And they can’t do the work??? Is there any wonder why the town is going broke???You don’t need a PHD to figure some things out…….COMMON SENSE and EVERYONE doing the job they are hired to do………WOULD BE A GOOD START. AND PARK THE TRUCKS AT NIGHT . NOBODY should have to drive them home……….my opinion!!! We need help alright…..Perhaps, Mrs. Brooks is on the right track..get some FREE advise on the “jobs-responsibility” of the MAYOR & COUNCIL….if they are going to abide by them……

  22. sam on April 16th, 2019 6:33 am

    now i know why MY bill is so high. I’m paying for the free loaders. century is being run like the government.

  23. Oversight on April 16th, 2019 5:21 am

    268 not being billed? Don’t be surprised if included in that 268 there is every member of the town council, mayor, and their families.

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) NorthEscambia.com reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.