Sewer rate increases in question

Editor:

On April 21, 2019, I sent a letter to our City Council requesting that they look into the sewer rate increases that have already been approved by the last council. Our recent rate increase of $3.48 per month is just the beginning, with $3.68 increase for March of 2020, $3.88 for March 2021 and $4.09 for March 2022.The total rate increase is $15.13 per month or $181.56 a year more.

When the city employed a consulting firm to look into restructuring the wastewater fund, they made a statement that our rates would be raised or adjusted by 5.5 percent per year until 2022. As I told the council, my recent rates increased by 9.3 percent, and I’m making the case that all homeowners are going to pay the higher increase also, and here’s why.

The bond funds that were included in the calculation ($25.91 per month) should never have been used in the calculation portion, because those rates were stand-alone funds, and would not be taxed again. By using the bonds, city staff diluted the actual rate increase of 9.3 percent to sell it as a 5.5 percent increase.

When I look further into the increases, I find more troubling stats; for example, number of accounts and sewer flow data. The number of accounts was and is under-reported along with the flow data that represents number of persons per household, along with overinflated number of flow gallons to the treatment plant used by some homeowners.

Join with me and let’s stop these rate increases that are based on estimates and information that is incorrect!

Rick Walters