By Donna Westfall – July 2, 2011
Sewer ratepayers reeling from increases in food, electricity and gas prices are not happy about another sewer rate increase on the horizon. What the public wants is assurances of a moratorium on any further increases for the next year.
Those on SSI have seen another cut. Seniors on Social Security are in their third year without any cost of living increase. So, where in the world is that extra money going to come from to pay for this rate increase which “is required to keep up with the rising cost of materials and supplies.”
Some from the public remember when they asked former City Manager Eli Naffah, back in 2007-2008 why the wastewater treatment plant price went from $19.6 million to $42.5 million. The answer then was “materials doubled.” But the retort was that labor didn’t double. Now the wizened public asks the city if the cost of materials and supplies is up, to PROVE IT!
Many people of the public want to know why payroll cuts/pension cuts/employee cuts are not being made first to carve out that $150,000 the city is looking for. Why is it they are trying to tap the over-extended ratepayers for the money to pay for the increase in rising costs of materials and supplies.
The $2.65 per month proposed sewer rate increase will be up for discussion under Agenda Item Number 7 PUBLIC HEARING(S) this Tuesday night, July 5th at the Flynn Center located at “H” and 9th Streets.
If the proposed rate increase is adopted, it will take effect September 1, 2011.
Keep in mind the poison pill. That’s when the City Council, in a 4-1 vote last year, approved increasing the length of the State Revolving Fund Loan from 20 years to 30 years. Part of that agreement was giving the State, NOT THE CITY, they gave the State the power over whether or not rates could ever be decreased.