Some are wondering why the city waited so long to implement stringent watering restrictions

At the September 18 city council meeting (Item #32), the city will implement even stricter watering restrictions; waterrest

Some are wondering what has taken so long? I think that the city was using the water department’s enterprise funds to roll in the dough. Just look at the jump from July (Blue)-August (Yellow) 2012. $11 Million Dollars! And they claim they need to increase water rates . . . yeah . . . right.

I created a PDF comparing July 2011 to July 2012 to August 2012: WATER-RATES

4 comments ↓

#1 cr on 09.18.12 at 9:16 pm

I guess the watering restrictions do NOT apply to the City or to Avera.

Avera has never stopped watering their property along 24th Street between 9th Avenue and Cliff Avenue. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, just like clockwork the sprinklers are going, and the water is running down the street!

ALSO, the City continues to water, the boulevard along 21st Street, Riverdale Park and Mckennan Park.

These are the city properties I see being watered multiple times every week……

There are probably more, I am just not aware of them!

#2 Craig on 09.19.12 at 9:38 am

Well first of all if we have the water then there is no reason to worry about restrictions. The city publishes monthly data so I sincerely doubt there is some conspiracy here to bilk people out of money – they know it would be next to impossible for them to raise water rates again if they were making millions in ‘profits’.

Second, I’m not sure their operating expenses listed include bond payments for the L&C pipeline, or for other water related infrastructure improvements like the sewer line replacements along I-229. Because I don’t understand the entire picture, it would be unfair to make a claim I cannot fully support.

Third, the watering restrictions are never taken seriously. Many homeowners do their best to follow the rules, but a lot of businesses just ignore them. I’m sure we all have neighbors who continue to water more than once a week, but unless someone reports them nothing will change.

I have three neighbors on my street with thick green lawns – one of which just laid some new sod so I’ll cut him some slack. One is selling his house so he is watering the bejeeebus out of his yard trying to improve curb appeal – so to some degree I can cut him some slack too only because I know normally he NEVER waters. He shouldn’t do it, but I’m not going to be “that guy” to report him.

The third guy waters three times a week and sometimes twice each of those days. However, I suspect he might have his own well because his driveway and sidewalk is covered in rust… and that would not come from city water.

That is the tough thing – sometimes we see something being watered and we assume they are breaking the rules, but there are a lot of private wells in Sioux Falls so not everyone is using city water for lawn watering.

As for me, my brown lawn matches many of the leaves that are starting to fall off of my neighbor’s cottonwood trees, so I guess I’ll just let it be.

#3 Testor15 on 09.19.12 at 12:05 pm

This is not just an issue of ‘fleecing’ the residents through encouraging water usage. This is just part of our new fee-based government in action. We no longer use tax revenue gathered to pay for infrastructure. We now use fees to build and maintain infrastructure. We don’t reserve our bonding authority for unexpected disasters, or basic major builds of required items, we use our borrowing capacity to build edifies to enlarge egos.

What will these edifies cost us in the future? Where will the ‘leaders’ who spent the treasury be when the bill comes due? The 10% or more given as commissions for selling the bonds to unlucky bondholders will be gone from the scene enjoying their retirements in other places while we suffer back here under the debt load.

So the encouragement to use more water is a budget balancing effort with little concern for us the average bill payer.

#4 l3wis on 09.19.12 at 9:58 pm

I don’t have a problem with paying customers watering to their hearts content. What I do have a problem is the city telling us we have a watering crisis (After we spent $70 million for L & C) Which was the stupidest fucking decision any council has ever made. Seriously. And secondly that we needed to increase water fees to pay for projects. Bullshit. When you are collecting $11 million in one month on fees, I don’t think you need to worry too much about having money in reserves for infrastructure projectsor increasing rates. As one person said to me today, “How much of these enterprise profits are going to be transferred to the EC or other supposed ‘Quality of Life’ projects? Good question, sees this mayor has Carte Blanche to do whatever he wants, including writing and signing a MOU with the Railroads. But hey, he will let the council see the doc before signing it. Gee, thanks Mike, you are a champ.

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