Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Whose On First?

Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody and his Water and Sewer Director David Jurgens are pushing for a 34% increase in water and sewer rates in the next two years. There was no mention of the $62 million cost over run resulting from poor management on the new sewer treatment plant. Instead, they are trying to blame the proposed rate hike on residential homeowners.

Coody told local residents, "If we got the citizens to really understand how much water we waste, we could go through these increases and everybody’s water bill would still be lower than it is today, if people would conserve. Now that’s just a fact." The big problem, the Mayor said, "We’re having to build our entire system for those few nights, those few afternoons, in the summer when everybody irrigates their yards." Uh huh.

Then Jurgens admitted, it would take about 5, 660 average residential users to use 1 million gallons of water a month.

So Coody had to confess that Pinnacle Foods uses about 1 million gallons of water a day. That's a bit more than those pesky citizens use watering their lawns to support the America in Bloom competition for which the Mayor is always so ready to claim credit.

Residential users now pay $2.81 per 1,000 gallons, and large corporate and industrial users pay only $1.60. Mayor Coody and his staff want to permanently lock in this inequity that has a widow on Social Security income paying 175% more and subsidizing the cheaper rates for massive consumption by large corporate users.

The Mayor's proposed rate increase will be discussed in the Water and Sewer Committee meeting at 4:30 on Thursday at the
City Administration Building, Room 326, 113 W. Mountain St. Be there if you care about equitable water rates where everyone pays their fair share.

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