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Letter To The Editor: More Utility Rate Increases

on September 16, 2017 - 10:40am
Los Alamos

Remember that discussion a couple of months back about how sewer rates were being rubber-stamped each year for the past five years at 8 percent each year. The Department of Public Utilities wanted an 8 percent increase this year to show that they had revenues to get financing for the White Rock Water Treatment Facility (WRWTF or WWTF).

Remember that I was a strong advocate of tying the increases to the specific projects that they were using as rationale so that they could be removed when that obligation went away? Instead, the Council approved the increases to allow the DPU to refresh their Cash Reserves with the rate increases.

Guess what? DPU is coming back wanting more money for the same stuff!

This week's County Council session will host the DPU planning for the following:

  • Increased water rate in anticipation of Capital outlays and to fund reserve funds; and
  • Increased sewer rate in anticipation of replacement of WRWTF and to start implementation of financial policies.

They are looking at advanced increases of..., wait for it ..., 8 percent per year for at least the next two years, with potentially smaller increases after that.

And, they are going to raise your water rates, as well. Again! Let's see if they give themselves the big price break like they did on the last one. You pay extra for water above a certain usage level, but they do not.

The question is, what does our sitting County Council do this time? Is it rubber-stamped? Is it faux argued, then rubber-stamped? They are approving rate increases for the next five year period.

Can you say - Elections are next year?

There is likely to be at least one new face on the list of candidates.