Sauk Village officials apologize, call pastor's $5k water bill a mistake

A south suburban man says he's grateful to FOX 32 News after learning he won't have to pay a five-thousand-dollar bill to keep his water running.

Officials in Sauk Village are now calling his water bill a mistake.

Their apology comes two days after we told you about the village's threat to cut off his water.

Pastor Derrick Williams of Sauk Village doesn't take running water for granted anymore. Not after getting a notice telling him he had to pay $5600 by this Tuesday or have his water shut off. His typical monthly bill was about two hundred dollars.

“I just knew I had to have some answers because I didn't get any answers when I tried, attempted in the beginning,” Williams said.    

Williams initially called the village hall and got nowhere, and then he called Fox 32 and we told his story Monday night.

At a village board meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Derrick Burgess agreed to meet with Williams face to face. 

When Pastor Williams met with the mayor Wednesday morning, the mayor explained that it appeared that for the last three years, that water meter had been malfunctioning and that's what explained that $5600 bill.

“He see that I was paying on time and that it was just a mistake on their half,” Williams said.

Williams says he'd been paying for years based on faulty estimates. Mayor Burgess agreed it wasn't fair to hit him with a huge bill now. 

“He said he would not charge me this astronomical water bill, and he apologized, and I accepted his apology,” Williams said.

The pastor says he still might be facing a water crisis if not for his prayers and a call to FOX 32 News. 

“I prayed, and I thank em for sending you all and all the other people that supported me and gave me a call, and just trying to help. So yes, I’m extremely grateful,” Williams said.

We've offered Sauk Village officials the opportunity to explain how this mistake could have occurred, but so far we haven't heard back from them.