Starting in February, Henryettans will be paying an additional $6 on their utility bills.
That surcharge is to defray the unbudgeted expense from a state audit sought by local resident Howard “Buck” Sheward.
The audit is projected to cost the city between $50,000 and $70,000 but city officials say it could run above that total. In 2014 utility bills had a $4 surcharge tacked on to pay for a similar audit.
Nearly 300 signatures of registered voters in Henryetta were obtained to spark that audit but there have been claims that people were not fully informed or were misinformed about the reason for the audit.
That has resulted in a search for those people who are willing to sign an affidavit stating they were misinformed.
Tulsa attorney Ken Williams said ultimately a class action lawsuit against Sheward as well as others who were passing around the petition could be filed. Nothing was said whether that suit would be to allow residents to recoup money paid out in the surcharge.
At the December city council meeting, Jennifer Clason said multiple have come to the city saying if they signed the petition their water bills would not be raised. “That’s a total falsehood,” she said.
Local residents Tom and Paula Morris and city attorney John Insabella are looking for people who want to provide affidavits. Paula Morris said anyone wishing to help can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They can also call 918-652-9999 and ask for Paula.
The state auditor said once signatures are on the petition they cannot be removed.
Class said a number of people signed the petition based on what they were told instead of actually what is on the petition.