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Fernandina utility refunding overcharged customers

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Updated: 9/05/2013 12:00 am
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Taxpayers in Fernandina Beach are getting cut a check, and for some, it's like a six-figure bonus. $732,114.82 is all going back to the City of Fernandina Beach Water Utility customers. This after the city admits the customers were overcharged for impact fees since 2009.

"Usually when you change fees you get some sort of public notice. This particular period there was no notice given so the city had a choice: you could continue to charge or you could go back and try to correct it and do the right thing," said City Commissioner, Ed Boner.

That's just what they've done. The city has just agreed to refund it's customers the difference.

Builder, SEDA Construction is cashing in on a big chunk of the money, more than $200,000. While not every customer will cash in like that, most of the refunds amount to a couple thousand dollars.

Carol Lindberg says she's seen businesses shut down because of impact fees and of course the economy, but says she's happy the city is owning up to their mistake.

"I think it's been needed for a long time but hopefully the shops won't have to close if it's not already too late," said neighbor Carol Lindberg.

For Cafe karibo it's not. The downtown Fernandina shop stuck it out and is now getting back several thousand dollars.

"We tried to do the right thing," said Boner.

The city tells Action News this money is coming out of a reserve utility find, and won't directly effect the general fund.

The city is mailing out refund checks now. Click the link to the file attached to this story to see if you are on the list for a refund.

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