AHWATUKEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -
A local restaurant owner said he's caught in the middle of a dispute over water between his landlord and the City of Phoenix.
Lloyd Melton owns four Biscuits restaurants. But his Club West Golf Course location in Ahwatukee is empty.
"I got caught in the middle of a squeeze and I didn't know how to get out," Melton said.
According to a lawsuit, Club West Golf Course's water bill has been unpaid for at least three months, and they are more than $200,000 behind.
"I had my own meter but the meter's name was under the golf course's name," Melton said. "They turned off the water to the golf courses they also turned off my water."
Melton said he was paying his landlord for monthly utilities, and when the taps were turned off, he brought in his own drinking water. But then, the Maricopa County Environmental Services Department shut him down.
"My Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are sold out. I need to have this water," Melton said. "They said, 'But that is not a recognizable water source.'"
Now, Melton said he is waiting on the City of Phoenix to approve his paperwork.
"I have 17 employees that came out there with me to work," Melton said.
The golf course manager said they are still open for business, and they have a dozen golfers every day. We asked about the future of the business, considering some of the course is already turning brown. He told us right now, their focus is on watering the greens.
"They're viable there, even without the golf course," said Phoenix city councilman Sal DiCiccio's chief of staff Sam Stone. He said he's asking the City to allow Biscuits to re-open under a temporary permit while everything else gets sorted out. Stone said he may try to get the issue on Wednesday's City Council meeting agenda, if necessary.
Melton said he has faith that the golf course will be back up and running.
"Along with the top restaurant in the state of Arizona, Biscuits," Melton said.
A spokesperson for the City's Water Services Department sent us the following statement:
In regards to your question about the Club West Golf Course, the City of Phoenix Water Services Department does not disclose customer information, including billing and service status.
Water Services has been in close contact with Biscuits Restaurant in the recent weeks. While it’s incredibly unfortunate that Biscuits has been put in this situation by their landlords, the restaurant does have some due diligence they need to meet, in order to comply with health and building codes. We look forward to continuing to work with Biscuits to resolve this issue.
Read full story at http://www.azfamily.com/story/37864592/local-restaurant-forced-to-close-temporarily-landlord-accused-of-not-paying-water-bill