A Woods County man is outraged that Deer Creek’s Independent Water District has demanded he pay a $4000 fee to tap in to the water system. 

Deer Creek officials says there’s nothing outrageous about it at all. 

Sam Gerred got a deal on a double wide mobile home near Cashion. He was hoping to move his sister Amanda, who is developmentally disabled, into the home with their mother Diana. But Gerred, who says he’s also a registered plumber in four states, said he didn’t realize there was any such fee to tap into Deer Creek’s system.

“$4000 just to turn the water on, and I think it’s absolute extortion,” Gerred said.

Debbie Wells-Bethel has been the manager of Deer Creek’s Water Corporation for 37-years.  She says they’ve always charged a one-time fee. 

“It’s nothing new,” Wells-Bethel said.

However, Bethel also said due to rising costs, they did increase the fee from $2500 to $4000 in the past year. 

“And unfortunately, they didn’t check with us before they bought the property, to see what it would cost to get water,” Wells-Bethel said. 

According to Wells-Bethel, Gerred also has the option of digging his own water well. 

Gerred’s mother Diana says she doesn’t know what they’re going to do.

“$4000. I don’t have $4000 in savings, and it would take seven months for me to come up with the money to get the water on. With Amanda, I can’t do that.  We have to have water all of the time,” Diana said.