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'It's real inconvenient': KCMO computer system issues impact water bill payments, permit issuances

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Posted at 3:58 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 18:12:32-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo — The city of Kansas City, Missouri, has been dealing with computer system issues for about a week.

Not only are residents concerned about potential privacy issues, but they are also dealing with inconveniences like getting permits and paying their water bill.

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“It’s just a big inconvenience, and we hope it’s over with,” said Barbara Heaton, a KCMO resident.

Heaton has never been to the KCMO Water Service Department. She normally gives them a call and pays her bill over the phone.

The system failure has affected the online payment system for city water as well as its phone lines.

“Now we’re late, and they better not charge us penalties,” Heaton said. “And I tell you, I don’t even know if I trust that drop box.”

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Lee Smith, another KCMO resident, came back on Tuesday morning for a second attempt at paying the water bill for his church after he says he could not even get in the door on Monday.

“Yesterday, it was so full down here you couldn’t even get in to pay your water bill," Smith said. "Yesterday, there was no parking."

As a taxpayer, he says he hates being in the dark about what is going on in city offices.

“I don’t understand why they don’t let people know what’s really going on," Smith said. "There’s gotta be something that they know."

The system issue has impacted other city operations like the municipal court, the city’s app, and the permit department.

Online applications for building permits and zone clearances are currently down.

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Like many others, James Haynes and his wife are worried about what this malfunction could mean on a bigger scale.

“We’re hoping that it wasn’t anything where personal information was lost, but we don’t really know what the issue was," Haynes said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed to KSHB 41 that it is aware of the outage, but that further information will come from the city.

In the meantime, this has left very few options for residents.

“This is what we have to do," Heaton said. "We might be coming down here next month, too."