Century Continues To Find ‘Missing’ Natural Gas, Accounts Not Billed Due To Faulty Meters

January 15, 2020

The Town of Century is continuing to make strides to get its natural gas billing on track.

The town could not account for 31.6% of the natural gas it purchased for resale in December 2019, a big improvement over 58% in August 2018.

The town has taken a systematic approaches to auditing natural gas accounts and replacing meters. The audits have uncovered at least a half dozen locations that were not in the billing system and over two dozen meters that had stopped working. Additionally, locations have been turned off that were not being billing, and a handful of new customers have signed up for service.

There were 20 stopped meters replaced December 23-27 and eight stopped meters replaced December 30-January 3. A total of 142 gas meters system wide have been changed out by city staff.

“…these activities do not address every possible metering issue in the gas system,” Veron Prather, interim city manager, wrote in a memo to the town council. “There is still the possibility of slow or out of calibration gas meters. These will require additional testing and corrective action to resolve.”

NorthEscambia.com file photo.


17 Responses to “Century Continues To Find ‘Missing’ Natural Gas, Accounts Not Billed Due To Faulty Meters”

  1. David Huie Green on January 17th, 2020 12:05 pm

    I knew one lady who called several times to remind them that she heated her house with natural gas and kept getting a minimum/no-consumption bill even throughout the coldest winter months. She finally gave up since they didn’t seem to care.

  2. Comment on January 17th, 2020 11:35 am


    State Attn is on this and did form a grand jury and reported in March of last year, at the time they turned is a no true bill, as in nothing to prosecute them for.

    They seem to be trying to turn it around, but yes if they keep on wasting taxpayer money, then they were warned there could be serious consequences.
    That seemed to help them come together and stop the divide and conquer racial crap and attempt to get the job done.

    I hope they continue to turn it around.

    Yes neighbors, stealing from neighbors, how about stop that now.

  3. Anne on January 16th, 2020 12:38 pm

    Keep wondering, Isn’t SOME Part of all this Financial Fiasco accountable to LAW and Legal responsibility?
    Guess real question is, Where are the Law Enforcers and Investigators in all this mess?
    It seems the County and State would be invested due to Loss of TAX Monies.
    All just rediculous.

    Were this “One of US” we’d be shackled and hauled off to the jail.

  4. Bob on January 16th, 2020 9:43 am


    Do you know where the bodies are buried?

    Century Loan Department is where they process the paper work for all the personal loans to the board members?

    O Im sorry, there is no paper work on these loans…

  5. Frank Hudson on January 15th, 2020 9:58 pm

    I thought every utility had a minimum service charge?

    If not maybe that’s the route Century should go, just saying…

  6. Kane on January 15th, 2020 5:53 pm

    This is what is wrong with our government today NO ACCOUNTABILITY instead the blame is shifted to the citizens. It’s not my job to make sure that I’m billed correctly it’s the government entities job. If I overpay on a utility bill is the government then responsible for that? Are they then thieves for not returning the money? Nope I would just be an Idiot that over payed.

    How about some criminal charges for the supervisors and accountants whose job it was to make sure they were billing people properly? At the very least there should be a hot round of firing on such a gross and negligent job done. I’m not mad at the citizens some even tried to point out that they were not billed as attested to in the comments below.

    No the blame rests firmly and solely on the Government in this town. There is a reason Century is the poorest town in Florida and lack of any government accountability is it. This is the town whose mayor was buying plane tickets with taxpayer money after all.

  7. Town of Century customer on January 15th, 2020 2:10 pm

    How many times did I have to ask the clerk when paying my gas bill to write a work order to have my meter checked because I knew the meter was not correct and I knew I owed more than I was being billed. I was told month after month that someone would would be out to repair it. When they did “fix” it I was charged the normal amount for what was showing I had presently used. The fix lasted a few months then the meter went down again. So here we go again requesting a work order for repair on a monthly basis. They finally got it fixed again. Wonder how long it will last. Also wonder how many other honest customers have waited months to get repairs. Are the gas department workers overloaded? I agree with Clay except it needs to be done in billing before the bill is ever sent out. Flag the account, write a work order to be completed by a certain date. They will flag the account for nonpayment! Turn your gas off! Charge reconnection fees! I’m glad someone is finally trying to help The Town of Century gain back revenue.

  8. Julia Pearsall on January 15th, 2020 10:36 am

    I personally give benefit of doubt to customers, especially due to problems with gas billing. I lived in Tampa and when I did not receive utility bills it took multiple calls and arguments on my part insisting on getting billed despite being told I didn’t owe anything. Actually there was a defective meter. Later I read about a woman having her utilities turned off because she “should have” known she owed money for a years worth of utilities. She had called the utility company and been told she didn’t owe any money.

  9. jason ward on January 15th, 2020 10:32 am

    A few more meters an they can come down on gas prices and still turn a profet

  10. Well on January 15th, 2020 10:23 am

    Stay on it Mr. Prather.

  11. tg on January 15th, 2020 10:06 am

    Keep looking theres more to find. Check over in Century Loan Department.

  12. retired on January 15th, 2020 9:26 am

    The city needs to average months not billed and send them a bill, just like they did with the prison.

  13. Shady Sally’s on January 15th, 2020 9:21 am

    Not sure of the laws/rules/procedures in situations like this but seems a good idea to Give residence warning to report their NOT PAYING for gas without penalty or penalize those who don’t report upon being discovered. Flat fee added to bill maybe?

  14. Clay on January 15th, 2020 7:41 am

    They need to train the receivables clerk and engage a CPA to perform an internal controls and processes analysis.

  15. Gomer Pyle on January 15th, 2020 7:36 am


    Is there anyone really surprised about this?

  16. Mark on January 15th, 2020 7:35 am

    Yes, it is a sad to see this. I grew up in a era, good or bad, but people were more honest. I remember everyone leaving doors unlocked because it was unheard of to go into a house uninvited that was not yours. I remember as a kid going into stores on a Sunday with no one working, getting what we needed, and putting money in a basket on the counter. If a cashier gave you too much change, you ran back into the store to give it back.

    I believe the problem is the culture of “I should be able to have anything I want” without having to work or sacrifice for it. Yes, those that have been receiving the gas and not paying ABSOLUTELY know what they are doing is wrong, but they just don’t care. They are no better than the thief that robs the local Tom Thumb.

  17. Jason on January 15th, 2020 1:31 am

    Sad part, those using gas and not paying a bill – either due to not being billed or due to a bad meter – knew they were STEALING services. Nothing in life is free. These folks are no different than the thief who opens an unlocked car to take some item of value or swipes the flowers out off the counter at a Laundromat. A thief is a thief.

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