It’s difficult for laymen to understand how this proposed rate increase would affect their pocketbooks, and little explanation of why it is needed or what the district is doing to minimize expenditures.
Here we go again. If you received a rate structure and newsletter by mail you may have glanced at it. Maybe tossed it. If you don’t want to be blindsided by the 60 to 70 percent and higher increases (often $100+ for water) over five years then keep reading.
If you don’t participate in the process, you live with the results. Not even the directors in most cases understand how to read that rate structure.
Sending it by mail was fine. There were no accompanying examples/explanations of how to calculate your new bills or why the raise in rates.
The district spent $50,000 to produce a document and boiled it down to what was mailed. Couldn’t they spend a few more bucks to send along with the mail-out a way to interpret it?
Director Schelly admitted to me, “Its hard to wrap your head around it.” I requested he put a vote on the agenda for the May 16 board meeting to delay the June 20 public hearing to approve this. He didn’t.
I asked for more time to educate us. He said open meetings about this were posted in the paper, people were directed to review a “rate calculator” online. Not everyone gets the paper, not everyone has Internet.
Customers receive mail; that is the preferred method of delivery. Instead, they are sending you on a wild goose chase from the newspaper to the Internet to try to understand this enormous increase.
If everyone agrees it’s valid, fine. If we wish to protest, it takes a majority of customers to write letters and deliver them to the board to halt this increase. Obtaining hundreds of letters following an education process is impossible quickly. So if we don’t act now, it will pass without our input.
There are ways to reduce the rates. We pay almost three times what Pine Cove does for pipe replacement. They do their own.
Apply for grants. Get more bids on jobs and tweak them page-by-page. Taking this opportunity to consider consolidation could save duplication of costs.
Please use every effort to support this delay.
See you May 16, 6 p.m., at IWD, if they don’t cancel it due to this letter.
Vic Sirkin (former IWD vice president/director)