Letter: An unwelcome water bill
To the editor:
Well, the Mayor and Council are at it again. Large assessment and overcharging whenever and wherever they can.
On Nov. 8, 2017 Council approved an increase in the water and sewer rates effective Jan. 1, 2018. According to council, our rates are the lowest water rates in the area. The city hasn't had an increase in 10 years. They don't want the homeowners to pay for all water repair charges. They don't want to include the water repairs in the road rehabilitation fees any longer. The city needs to fund a new $22.7 million public works building.
My disappointment, anger and disgust came, not from the increased rates effective January 1, 2018, but from my water bill which was for the last quarter of 2017. The new 2018 rates were applied to my Sept.—Dec. 2017 bill. Why? According to the public works department, my bill was generated in January after the new rates were inputted into the computer system.
A quick letter to the Mayor and council confirmed what I was being told by the public works department. According to the letter I received from the finance director on behalf of Mayor Stephens and the city council, the city doesn't have the resources to figure out that the water that was used in 2017 should be billed at the 2017 rate. If the city were to figure out what water was used in 2017 as opposed to 2018, they would miss their revenue projection.
Just to be clear, according to the city, our water bills are based on when the bill was generated, not when the water was used, and this was done so they could meet their revenue projections.
Is this increase in my water bill going to break the bank? By no means! However, Mayor Stephens and the council are notorious for building up their revenue with assessments and fees they think the public won't take notice of resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in overcharges for the water bill, and millions in road assessment fees. I would argue enough is enough. The practices that the Mayor and Council have fallen to are unethical, immoral, and quite possibly illegal.