Once Again The Screw-up Fairy Visits Port Orange | Waste More Water and Pay Less Per Gallon
.Recent City Increase In Water Rates Screwed-up
At the last council meeting you told Mr. Noftall you were waiting on direction from council to consider the actual impacts of the new utility rates. I brought this issue to council on May 5 you can view this at about 27 min in the meeting video.( https://www.port-orange.org/meetings/?p=view&video=127028310& ) Mayor Green clearly wanted further discussion, has this been scheduled? It was not in the May workshop.
The table I have attached is the one I presented at the meeting and I will point out that the increase and DECREASE amounts are for the total monthly bill, the actual water and sewer rates and fee increases actually were far more, or less with the automatic elimination of sewer charges for use over a certain amount of potable water. (table prepared from data provided by finance department)
Council and citizens were presented and council approved was a rate plan that would increase revenue by 3%. We have now reached the second full billing cycle at the new rates. What has the impact been on overall revenue? Compared to same time last year or period that the water plant pumped the same gallons? People including the majority of council thought that a 3% rate increase would not raise the total bill by more than 3%, and it was in the discussion that the impact would be felt less by low users and more so by heavy users. Obviously the opposite has happened.
Going forward should council get this at a workshop I would suggest that the use structure be like our Florida Power and Light bill. Their rates are tiered with a lower rate for under 1000 kilo watts and a higher for your usage over that. Should that method be applied to water and sewer it would reward those who conserve water or just plain do not use as much and would be charging more for those who use more than necessary, to water lawns or fill pools. This tiered method would also allow for the reduction or elimination of the sewer charge above the set quantity of water. See the pasted graphic or attached scan of my electric bill.
I stood in opposition to changing the rates without a water meter system that was function will within accepted error margins, which I am told ours is not, yet. As well the auditor pointed out that our infrastructure assets are not well inventoried and assessed, which is also evidenced by Mr. Neff’s request for such an analysis and the absence of one for roads and paving as noted in the draft CIP. Which, was requested by council and was has never been delivered. How did we come to adjust rates, when the revenue needs, infrastructure needs and requirements were not defined better than “we are gonna need more”.
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