Samaritan helps man saddled with massive bill

By Alex MacLean / The Union Democrat

A 67-year-old retiree saddled with a massive water bill last month is receiving some help from a mystery samaritan.

Bud Regelin, of Twain Harte, received a $6,000 bill from Tuolumne Utilities District in June after discovering an underground water leak at his Middle Camp Road home. The TUD board voted on June 24 to reduce the amount he owed to $2,905, which Regelin plans to pay in installments of $100, on top of his normal bimonthly water bill from the district.

A woman, who wished to remain anonymous, has set up a collection to help Regelin with the rest of the payment. The donor has contributed $468 to his debt so far, according to TUD spokeswoman Lisa Westbrook.

Regelin applied for and received relief under TUD's policy that allows the district board to reduce a customer's large water bill by up to about 50 percent if it's determined that the leak wasn't caused by deliberate neglect or misuse.

After the request was made public, a story about Regelin's predicament was published in The Union Democrat on June 25.

"People saw the story and they felt really bad because it could happen to anyone," Westbrook said. "Members of this community have huge hearts. They hear about people down on their luck and pull together to try and help them."

For the complete story, see the July 29, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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