Your yummy tasty water is gonna get more expensive, again

Stehly’s letter has perfect timing, the council votes on the fee increases tomorrow. I think this paragraph says it all;

The city’s priority has not been to spend tax dollars on basic infrastructure such as sewer upgrades and streets. Understandably, paying taxes and fees is necessary for living in our fine city, but we need to work to keep the basic essentials such as water and sewer rates reasonable. We need to work to use more efficiently the huge amount of added revenue that past water and sewer rate increases have brought.

This is what I cannot figure out. Why is it that we have to continue to raise rates when the money is already there to repair these pipes. One word: Greed.


I see at last night’s council meeting all but one councilor voted for water increases and all six present voted for sewer increases (Rolfing and Jamison were absent);

“There is no way to dress up a vote like this,” Councilor Vernon Brown said. “It does stink, pun intended.”

What needs to be ‘dressed up’ anyway? It’s simple. There is money in the CIP to pay for these repairs, frickin’ use it. This should have been a no-brainer. Instead our stubborn council justified the increase because of sewer repairs. But what if they would not have voted for the increases? The pipe would have still been fixed. Why? Already budgeted and planned, something the council failed to recognize. Imagine that.


#1 Poly43 on 04.18.11 at 5:39 am

We had a 13.5% rate increase in 2008. 14.5% in 2009. 14% in 2010 and working on a 14% increase in 2011. From 2007 to 2009, the number of water meters paying into city coffers increased by about 1500. In 2007, the city processed on average about 22.4 million gallons of water per day. In 2009 the city processed 2.7 million gallons of water per day LESS than in ’07. This anomoly is in large part due to the city making even odd watering days effective in 2008. Other water conservation efforts also contribute to the usage going down even as water meters increase. The reward for being good stewards to the environment? That’s right. Higher water rates to cover the lost gallons per day usage. The same rules apply to landfill rates. Landfill usage goes down because hundreds of tons of elecronics and hazardous waste are diverted elsewhere. Once again the reward for being good stewards to the environment? Increased rates.

The city made $27,264,591 in 2010 in water bills. Where is that money going?

#2 Pathloss on 04.18.11 at 8:59 am

Obviously, this has become Huether’s tap (no pun intended) for an events center. I sure hope the council sees through this. From experience, never trust the city. Lie, Lie, Lie, and then lie that you lied.

#3 Scott on 04.18.11 at 11:23 am

I have certainly found out not to trust the city…esp. everybody’s faves in the code violation dept.

#4 l3wis on 04.18.11 at 2:19 pm

Poly – You should take that above post and go to public input tonight so Theresa isn’t by herself. I have to work, so I will miss it. I guess two councilors will be absent tonight so there will only be 6 votes on the topic.

#5 Helga on 04.18.11 at 10:10 pm

Poly, as Geoff says on Craig Ferguson’s show “in your pants.” Just add (previous) mayor and friends and ya got your answer.

#6 Lemming on 04.18.11 at 11:44 pm

More for the Cookie Jar I guess…/sigh

From the Argus (04-14)
The city last year came in under budget, had $41.7 million in general reserves and another unobligated $4 million in its capital budget.
“Those are extra dollars in the cookie jar,” Huether said.
Reserves are important, he added, because they’re on hand to pay for emergencies or rising costs – or for potential “large investments.”

#7 l3wis on 04.19.11 at 7:40 am

The key word here is ‘Emergencies’ I think sewer water backing up in people’s basements qualifies as an ‘Emergency’ but all public works saw was dollar signs.

#8 Pathloss on 04.19.11 at 4:45 pm

Scott, apparently you’ve encountered Shawna HouseShouldLandOnHer and Sergeant Schultz.

#9 Pathloss on 04.19.11 at 4:49 pm

Something interesting in State Supreme Court on April 26th at 9AM.

#10 l3wis on 04.20.11 at 1:49 pm

What’s that?

#11 Here we go again, more water rate increases. — South DaCola on 06.04.11 at 1:54 pm

[…] not to long ago the increases to your water bill? Well that was apparently only for reclamation/sewer. They are proposing another increase to water […]

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