A Concerned Port Orange Senior

Submitted on 2014/04/09 at 8:51 pm …..

senior2Ted and Newton,
You raise many good points. I am a senior on a fixed income living alone. My water bill is NOT $45. Trash, drainage and other fees that other communities assess via ad valorem are included. That bill comes every month. You call it what you want. To me it’s all on there and it’s my water bill.
Was the City lying when they stated that the zero read meter replacements would increase revenues or was that another poor investment. I have heard a story at our clubhouse that we have more meters not working now than when the problem finally surfaced in the first place. Is there a sound number of how many zero read meters are now out there? Would management really tell you?
After reading the Woodman reports I think perhaps Council should summon some of the feet on the ground for the truth. I and others in my situation cannot afford higher bills for stupidity. I don’t mind paying my fair share but if others are paying minimum bills because of someone else’s ignorance we are All paying their share with a rate increase.
Let’s collect all of our revenue before we hip shoot for a rate increase. For Pete’s sake how can they ask for more money from me when they can’t demonstrate the decency to properly collect and manage it.
Should we really pay for their inabilities? Personally I don’t think so. Port Orange will force fixed income seniors out of their homes so investors can scoop them up and make them rentals. I can’t see that as a good future for the community.
Port Orange Senior

4 thoughts on “A Concerned Port Orange Senior

  • April 11, 2014 at 6:58 am

    You are correct in your concerns. I had suggested after it was identified that about one fifth of the meters were not working properly that total gallons pumped be graphed next to gallons or dollars billed. This did not happen and I am sure we would be told that they do not have the staff to go back and do it now, had they done that we all would have known how much the city was short in addition to the Shores under billing and mistakes with the county sewer at the fly in.
    What was presented was a phased in rate increase of approximately 30%. Spread out over 3 to 5 years so as not to cause rate shock, as was some of councils concern.
    More concerning is AUTOMATIC rate increase WITHOUT a council vote that are being proposed on page 11 of the consultants presentation (https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/special/2014-04-01/agenda.htm). This would mean that every Oct.1st a rate increase would go into effect based on the CPI.
    Newton White

  • April 11, 2014 at 7:13 am

    The other issue is that staff and consultants are proposing a new bond issue (loan) be taken out for $57,000,000 to do catch up maintenance on the water and sewer systems. The initial amount mentioned was 90 million but they have already “value engineered” it down to 57 million. All of this off the cuff with no assessment of the system or pricing to show council or citizens as to why it will cost so much.
    In fact money has been budgeted and some work performed, which raises more unanswered questions. Where is the budgeted money? Was it spent? On What? What was done/not done?
    All of this needs to be aired out and a solid plan shown before our council sets a new rate schedule or approves adding tremendous debt to the city.
    Newton White

  • April 11, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Thank you for the reply and information that you supplied. I agree this must be aired out. It is amazing that the request can go from 90 million to 57 million just like that. We are not getting the real story. I obtained information about the water meters through a neighbor that has a young grandson that works for the City. His revelation that more meters are failing and we have more zero reads now than ever is disturbing.
    This lost revenue could offset the loan request considerably. Maybe the request is to replace all of the meters. I am not sure about the information provided on the meters as there is no documentation to support it. There also is not any documentation to deny it. We can’t continue putting off issues with lack of information.
    We put things off until Council forgets all the details and then slide it through based on an outsiders recommendations. I am not sure which agency can help us with rate regulation but I plan to research that and see if I can get some answers. We simply can’t have this shoved down our throat by what appears to be incompetent leaders.
    My income is fixed and I don’t mind paying my fair share. My budget does not allow for irresponsible spending on my part. It hurts to feel that someone else has the authority to waste it for me.
    Good luck in your run for a Council seat. We all appreciate your efforts.

  • April 11, 2014 at 11:49 am

    I too have heard from employees that there are still major problems with the meters. If this is true and I have no reason not to believe them, we are losing revenue. Let’s fix the meter problems before we raise rates.


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