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Hundreds of Mount Vernon residents opened their latest water bills to find a hefty extra charge.

Not because they hadn’t paid what they owed. And not because the city was suddenly charged more for its water.

On Facebook, City Councilwoman Delia Farquharson posted her bill showing an “additional billing” of $319.75. “This water bill requires further explanation. I do not have a pool,” she quipped alongside the bill.

The explanations came Wednesday from water Commissioner Carlton Spruill and Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard. The extra charge for residents of Water District 3 was a result of the crash of a city computer server in April that eliminated data including some of the water department’s billing records. They suggested the “additional billing” figure will not have to be paid.

Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and water Commissioner Carlton Spruill took to Facebook Oct. 7, 2020, to explain extra charges that appeared on