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7 EYEWITNESS NEWS INVESTIGATES: Amherst widow to get $1,000 refund from Water Authority

Eyewitness News investigation gets her results
Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-21 18:38:43-04

A 7 Eyewitness News investigation is getting results for 83-year-old Amherst resident Margaret Klamp.

The Erie County Water Authority has agreed to give Klamp a $1,000 refund -- nearly half the amount the utility originally charged her in May.

Klamp, a snowbird who spends half of the year in Florida, was hit with the massive bill the same week that her husband of 61 years, Walter, died of cancer. 

She told her story to Eyewitness News after she said the Water Authority cut off communication with her and threatened to shut off her water without notice. 

**Click here to watch the original investigation**

Klamp will receive the refund provided her regular water meter readings go back to normal levels. 

If the Water Authority follows through on its promise, "I will be extremely grateful, extremely relieved and I'm certainly thankful to you people at Channel 7 for stepping in when I did as well as I could and ran up against a stone wall," Klamp said.

She said she hopes the whole situation will be a lesson for governments about customer service.

"It's a terrible thing when government agencies ignore their consitutency and I think if this does a little bit to help people decide that if they're wrong, they should do something about it, I'll be glad of that, too," Klamp said.

The Water Authority will come to Klamp's home to make sure her water is properly turned off before she returns to Florida.        

This service is available to all snowbirds who leave town for extended periods by calling the Water Authority at (716) 849-8444.

Also, Peter Reszka, assistant business office manager of the Water Authority, called 7 Eyewitness News to take issue with the implication that he was a political appointee of the Water Authority. 

He said that he "was not given this job" and worked hard for it, working his way up as a civil service employee for 40 years. He said that it is a coincidence that he has been involved in Hamburg politics and also works at the Water Authority.