Property Owner Reacts to Invoice, City's Statement


By Alexa Tieu

Jerome, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Controversy and confusion in Jerome as a local woman is sent an invoice charging her nearly $100,000.

This, because she was the owner of the building that went up in flames in downtown Jerome last month.

The fire was started by an unattended hot glue gun.

Two buildings were damaged, displacing nine families.

The City of Jerome has since sent out a statement saying the invoice was an error on their part.

But it's not easing the mind of Sylvia Moore just yet.

Moore says, "I couldn't even believe it was happening, you know? That's my livelihood."

Sylvia Moore didn't just lose a building in the April 30th fire, she lost a part of her future.

"I have to say it was really shocking. That building was supposed to be my retirement," explains Moore.

The City of Jerome sent a four–page invoice to Moore on Saturday via email, fax and certified mail.

The total cost?

Just under $97,000.

To say it was surprising to Moore is an understatement.

Moore says, "Who has that kind of money? Certainly not working people."

The City of Jerome sent out a statement Thursday afternoon, reading:
"The invoice sent to Sylvia Moore was sent in error. No recovery costs will be sought against Ms. Moore for the fire occurring upon her property. The City of Jerome deeply regrets this error."

But that's not quite enough for Moore.

"From my standpoint, until I have it in writing, that's a pretty big error. $100,000 I think it would be kind of hard to swallow that as an error," she explains.

She wants this issue resolved, not just for herself, but for others.

"If they're going to bill me, are they going to bill the people that have a tragedy like a loss of a building?"

Jerome City Council member Chris Barber also released a statement about the matter saying....
"I am once again embarrassed. In talking to the public and Sylvia Moore... I am remorseful and speechless. The Council was once again left in the dark with no advisement prior to the billing by city staff."

Idaho's First News tried to contact several representatives for the City of Jerome and received no response.

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