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Huntington Beach

April 28, 1999|Eron Ben-Yehuda (714) 965-7172, Ext. 13

The city will be refunding more than $165,000 to about 4,300 people who overpaid for their water service. "We're very anxious to get the money back to its rightful owners," said City Treasurer Shari Freidenrich. Since 1990, residents who had made their final payments before moving out of their homes still received closing bills from the city, Freidenrich said, and thousands of them paid those bills. Because the accounts were already closed, the computer system did not trigger refund checks.

Although the city was aware of the problem five months ago, a new software program that flags overpayments on closed accounts was not installed until a few weeks ago, Freidenrich said. Letters are being sent to the last forwarding address of those who have overpaid, she said. People may check on their eligibility by calling (714) 536-5277; the average refund is $38.

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