Wednesday letters: Water rates, Boebert, and good samaritan
Water rate proposal shocking
Is the city capable of managing the water system?
The proposed price increases are a shock. Apparently, maintenance and upgrades have been put off for years, and no reserves were set aside to do them. This isn’t a problem that just happened; I imagine it’s taken more than 10 years to get to this point.
But it’s bad. Any private water company would have this rate increase request turned down by its regulators, and the manager would probably lose his job.
Maybe a city-council-style of government just isn’t capable of running a water utility. It’s too tempting to spend money on our wants, instead of our needs.
If the water utility was separate from the city government, it would remove a lot of temptations.
The temptation to put off unpopular rate increases until it reaches a crisis.
The temptation to transfer revenue from the water system to the city’s general fund.
The temptation to use the water system reserves to fund other city projects.
The temptation to increase water fees when tax increases are voted down.
The temptation to trade new tap fees and construction fees for affordable housing units.
The temptation to time major publicity about rate increases for election convenience.
The temptation to allow development exceeding the capacity of the water system.
The temptation to charge the water system for projects, expenses and employees that may not be completely water related.
The temptation to undercharge or forgive charges to favored customers.
I don’t fault any one council or manager; this problem built up over years. I think the whole arrangement is at fault.
The water system needs professional management that can focus on delivering quality water, reliably, and at the lowest cost. And there must be a separation between the water department and the city to stop these temptations.
If the city can’t manage the water system, maybe the city should divest the water system. I doubt a private operator would be good, but perhaps a co-op model like Holy Cross Electric would work. With customers as shareholders, the co-op could focus on delivering water and sewer services without political considerations.
Also concerned about water rates
I am very concerned about the proposed 36.8% increase in water rates this year, with subsequent 5% increases for several years. I understand the need to replace/repair the water infrastructure, but do you realize how these increases will affect us?
Last year our highest usage month in July cost $179.26. At 36.8% increase this year, that means, assuming the weather is similar to last year, our water bill will be $245.23. We can’t afford that. We are on a fixed income. Then if you consider that the next year you increase another 5%, next year will cost $257.49, and the next year $270.36, and the next year $283.88, and so it goes.
Lawns will dry up, and fire danger around our homes will increase, because people won’t be able to water their lawns. Our low usage months average around $90. So this last bill was $90.63. Increase that by 36.8% = $123.98, add 5% for the next four years, the low usage months will be $130.18, $136.69, $143.52, $150.70, etc.
A different way to raise funds needs to be figured out rather than just raising rates.
Embarrassed for Boebert
I would be first to admit that I am not a Congresswoman Lauren Boebert fan due to the many discrepancies in her way of looking at the world. But, frankly, I was shocked to see her vote against the “Violence Against Women Act” (VAWA). Does she not understand or care that many women face the threat of violence in their own home?
I am embarrassed that she represents Colorado Congressional District 3. Many women who are in abusive relationships receive help through agencies who receive VAWA funding and/or also benefit from the confidentiality laws that are within VAWA.
Shame on you, Congresswoman Boebert, for not understanding the needs of women in abusive relationships who reside in your district.
By the way, my son, who owns over 20 guns, always said to me many times President Obama was going to take his guns away from him. I guess Congresswoman Boebert and my son should talk about when that is going to happen.
Michael P. Blair
Good samaritan thanks
My deepest gratitude to the person who turned in my lost purse to the City Market fuel stop in Rifle on Saturday morning, March 20. Also, thank you to the person in City Market customer service who contacted my daughter in Oregon about my purse. She, in turn, was able to contact my husband and let him know where the purse was.
A big relief to a very stressful situation. Again, a big thank-you to all of you, and I will certainly pass on this act of kindness.
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